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NY Same Sex Divorce Has NY Lawyers Cheering

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on June 29, 2011 7:43 AM

For some attorneys, the New York gay marriage law means one thing: an increase in New York gay divorces.

It's not like the state is a stranger to gay divorce. Even before the passage of the new gay marriage law, New York recognizes gay marriages that are legitimately performed in jurisdictions that recognize gay marriage.

Though, that doesn't mean that the numbers of same-sex couples seeking divorce won't increase after the gay marriage law.

New York officials are predicting that about 21,000 same-sex couples will get married within the first three years of the law's passage. The state currently has a divorce rate of 8.4%, meaning that if the statistic holds true, about 1,800 of those marriages will ultimately fail, reports the New York Post.

And, of course, with gay marriage, there also comes other work for attorneys. New York divorce lawyer Stephen Silberfein is anticipating a "rush" of gay couples looking to get prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, reports The New York Times. Like most couples who want to look after their assets, coming to an agreement before or after marriage on how to split assets is a practical choice.

Another divorce attorney opined that he believed that gay couples would probably be less likely to get divorced, reports The New York Times. Since gay couples did not have the right to marriage before, they have generally been together longer before they were able to tie the knot. Not knowing one's partner has been the driving impetus behind dissolving marriages for years.

For same-sex couples looking to get married in New York, it's also important to note the complications that may arise if couples decide to move to different states. Same-sex divorce can become tricky in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, and divorce laws will vary from state to state.

So, if you're looking to get a same-sex marriage in New York, study the laws first. While the new NY gay marriage law is cause to celebrate for proponents of gay marriage, and for attorneys looking to cash in on the anticipated increase in New York gay divorces, know that same-sex marriage law (and same-sex divorce law) is still relatively new. Precedents and legal standards may vary depending on where you live.

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