Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Domestic Partnership Vs Marriage New York

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 28, 2023)

Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:15 pm

Domestic Partnership vs. Marriage in New York: Key Differences

In New York, unmarried couples have two options for legally recognizing their relationship – domestic partnership or marriage. While these statuses share some similarities, there are important distinctions regarding eligibility, registration, benefits, rights, and dissolution. Understanding the key differences is critical when deciding which option best suits your needs.

Eligibility and Registration

In order to register as domestic partners in New York, both individuals must be 18 years of age or older and unmarried. The partnership is open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Registration simply involves submitting an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership to the county clerk where you live and paying a $30 fee.

Marriage in New York has no residency requirements or waiting periods. Same-sex and opposite-sex couples can marry, as long as both partners are 18 or have parental consent and are unmarried. Getting married requires applying for a marriage license and having the marriage solemnized.

Rights and Responsibilities

Some rights are similar between marriage and domestic partnership. Both allow couples to make emergency medical decisions for an incapacitated partner. Both also allow one partner to consent to autopsies and organ donations after the other partner’s death.

However, more than 1,300 rights and responsibilities are granted exclusively through marriage that domestic partners do not receive. Major differences include:

– Joint adoption and foster parenting
– Joint housing leases without income requirements
– Access to spousal benefits programs like pensions, retirement plans, and Social Security
– Automatic rights of inheritance if one spouse dies without a will
– Joint parenting rights – domestic partners are legal strangers to their partner’s children
– Income tax deductions and exemptions
– Crime victim’s recovery benefits
– Bereavement leave rights under employment policies
Divorce protections for equitable distribution of assets


A major disparity between domestic partnership versus marriage involves benefits eligibility. Under New York law, domestic partners are ineligible for most spousal benefits programs.

Some key benefits differences:

– Health insurance – Employers that cover spousal benefits are not mandated to extend benefits to domestic partners, although some choose to do so. With marriage, a spouse qualifies immediately for health benefits.
– Family medical leave – Spouses qualify while domestic partners do not.
– Bereavement leave – Spouses qualify while domestic partners do not.
– Public employee benefits – Spouses qualify while domestic partners do not.
– Income tax – Spouses file joint returns. Domestic partners don’t qualify for tax benefits like spousal IRAs.
– Estate taxes – Assets pass to spouses tax-free. Domestic partners could face estate taxes of up to 55%.
– Social Security – Spouses may qualify for benefits based on their partner’s work history. Domestic partners do not qualify for spousal Social Security benefits.


Unlike divorce, ending a domestic partnership simply involves filing a Termination of Domestic Partnership with the county clerk to be removed from the domestic partnership registry. This restores both parties to single status. No legal proceeding is required.

Marriage requires obtaining a divorce decree through the court system. Divorce court oversees property division, spousal support, child custody, and financial issues arising from the marriage being dissolved. The divorce process is typically more time consuming and complex compared to terminating a domestic partnership.


Domestic partners have zero legal relationship to their partner’s children and no rights or responsibilities of parenthood. The biological parent maintains full legal decision-making authority. A domestic partner cannot make medical decisions or act as a legal guardian for their partner’s child.

With marriage, the spouse takes on full legal parenting rights and obligations. The stepparent can share joint legal custody over stepchildren during the marriage, including responsibility for medical decisions and caretaking.

Property Rights

Property acquired during a domestic partnership is owned separately under each partner’s name. No special legal protections exist regarding division of property if the domestic partnership ends. This often necessitates creating legal contracts and documentation to manage property rights.

Being married triggers important New York property laws. Marital property, including assets purchased or income earned during marriage, is generally deemed jointly owned. Upon divorce, courts will divide marital property equitably between spouses under statute.

Financial Support

Domestic partners have no legal duty to provide financial support for their partner during or after the relationship ends. Unless a separate agreement is made, they do not qualify for alimony.

Spouses can be eligible for temporary spousal maintenance during separation or post-divorce alimony under New York statute. Courts determine support orders based on the spouses’ relative incomes and needs.

Estate Planning

With no automatic inheritance rights, domestic partners should utilize carefully crafted wills, trusts, life insurance policies, and beneficiary designations to provide for their partner as intended. Specific estate planning is crucial to ensure assets transfer to a domestic partner.

Spouses do inherit from each other automatically according to New York intestacy laws if no will exists. They also qualify for elective share protections against disinheritance. Less intricate estate planning is needed between spouses.

Consult an Attorney

Determining whether domestic partnership or marriage makes sense requires weighing your specific needs and situation. Speaking with an experienced New York family law attorney can provide guidance regarding the best legal structure for your relationship, children, and assets. They can ensure your rights are protected to the fullest extent possible.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!