Can my Bankruptcy Case be thrown out because I’m in a Same Sex Marriage in New York City?


No, a same sex marriage is recognized like any other marriage in New York City, and your bankruptcy case will be treated like any other bankruptcy case regardless of your sexual orientation.  The issue is controlled on the federal level and in June of 2013 in the landmark United States v. Windsor case the Supreme Court of the United States struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage act essentially paving the way for same sex couples to start receiving the same federal benefits as their straight friends and neighbors.  This includes bankruptcy protection for same sex couples who are legally married.  Gay or straight, your bankruptcy petition cannot be dismissed for your marital status in New York City.


However, just because gay couples can file bankruptcy doesn’t always mean they should file bankruptcy together.  Depending on your situation it might be best to file alone, jointly with your spouse, or possibly even through two separate bankruptcy cases.  So while you have the right to file bankruptcy if you are in a same sex marriage you should still consult a qualified attorney before making the decision to file jointly.  Your best results might come in another form.  We encourage our gay clients to consider all of their options before moving forward with any bankruptcy decision.   After the Windsor decision a number of our new gay clients seemed to automatically think that filing jointly would be there best option.   See our article here for more on filing jointly with your same sex partner to see if it could be right for you and your spouse: Joint bankruptcy filings for same sex couples in New York.

The decision to file for bankruptcy can be very complex and will depend on your debt amounts, the types of debts you share with your spouse, and a number of other factors.   The process can be stressful complicated enough as it is,  so rest assured there is no way your case will be dismissed because you are committed to a same sex marriage in New York.  If you live in New York and are considering bankruptcy protection but have concerns about how your same sex marriage will affect things please contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at212-244-2882 for a free bankruptcy consultation today.  We only practice bankruptcy law and can help all couples gay, straight, married, or not with their debt problems. We maintain a 99% Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 9/31/16.  

This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading this article no attorney-client relationship has been created.