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May 2016 Archives

The importance of adopting your own child

In a legal heterosexual marriage, both parents are granted legal parental rights. That means that both parents are financially responsible for their children, able to make medical and legal decisions for them and in the event of divorce, legally entitled to seek custody and visitation. When it comes to same-sex marriages however, typically only one parent is guaranteed legal parental status.

Unmarried fathers have rights too

While New York state laws indicate that fathers have equal parenting rights, this may not always be the case. It is common to hear about fathers who may not take responsibility for the well-being of their child, or in some cases, even acknowledge a child as their own. However, there are many fathers who are willing to fight diligently for their parental rights, and sometimes feel they have to take on the world to get them. A first step in protecting your rights as a father is to prove paternity. In New York, a child is deemed to have no legal father if the couple are unmarried at the time of the child's birth. This means that the father has no rights until paternity is established.

Addressing relevant issues with a legal separation

A legal separation is another option instead of filing for divorce. When spouses no longer wish to reside in the same home, but aren't ready or do not want to divorce, yet want to have their legal rights protected, a legal separation can be sought. Most issues that can be settled during a divorce can also be resolved during a legal separation. The only difference is that unlike a divorce, the parties involved in a legal separation are still legally married and, therefore, cannot remarry.

How can a domestic partnership agreement help same-sex couples?

Although same-sex marriage is legal now, those who choose not to marry but to be in a domestic partnership still face many challenges.  One of these challenges can often be ensuring they have the same rights and benefits as heterosexual couples would have under similar circumstances. In the State of New York, the office of the city clerk has a wealth of information when it comes to the rights of all those who wish to be married.

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