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.
As with any relationship, same-sex partnerships can also break down. With the breakdown of a relationship, there can be many obstacles to overcome, such as division of assets, property division, and custody of children to name a few. Because no relationship is guaranteed, it is often a good idea, especially for unmarried couples or those in a domestic partnership, to have in place an agreement that ensures property and financial interests are protected should a same-sex separation occur.
Ensuring the rights of both parties in an unmarried relationship are protected is in itself a challenge. When that relationship is one involving a same-sex couple, there can be even more unique challenges. In addition to the dissolution of a relationship, a domestic partnership agreement can also ensure legal rights in the case of one partner's death or inability to make decisions due to health issues. It is important to note that although this type of agreement cannot decide custody of children, it can help to make each partner's intentions known.
It is certainly a good idea to put in place a domestic partnership agreement to protect your rights and the rights of your partner, and there are legal experts and same-sex relationship lawyers with vast experience in this area who can take care of putting together these agreements.