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Attorney Advises Caution For Gay And Lesbian Couples And Marriage

WHITE PLAINS, NY (WCBS 880) - With same sex marriage becoming a reality in New York State this Sunday, an attorney has some advice.

WCBS 880's Catherine Cioffi In Westchester County


With the flowers, the dresses, and the music, it's easy to get carried away with the wedding but, it's not like a concert, you don't just want to get a t-shirt and say you were there.

When it comes to same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian legal affairs attorney James Hyer says it's important to remember that marriage is a binding, legal contract.

"Well, I am concerned that a lot of people are going to get married because of the emotions of the day and they're going to make mistakes," says Hyer. "Of course, with the rewards of a contract, there's also duties and obligations."

He says couples need to think long and hard about getting married, and even consider a prenuptial agreement.

"Prenuptial agreements are used to, essentially, shield future spouses' assets from the other in the event that there is a dissolution of the marriage," Hyer tells WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi. "I think when you look at marriage, you also have to think about the exit plan. Over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, unfortunately, in our society today. I suspect that with same sex couples, it will be the same, or who knows, even more."

Broadly speaking, gay couples will be subject to the same rules as heterosexual couples, but custodial rights may differ.

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