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.
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.