Serving Onondaga, Madison, Cayuga and Oswego Counties
4030 New Court Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13206
phone: 315.463.5747
fax: 315.463.5741

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Separation Agreements

Postnuptial & Prenuptial

Collaborative Law

Cohabitation Agreements

Custody & Child Support

Wills, Health Care Proxy,
Power of Attorney &
Living Wills

Other Areas of Practice

Domestic Partnership and Cohabitation Agreements

There are many couples in long-term relationships that are not protected by the marital laws of New York State. Same sex couples or heterosexual couples in a committed relationship not sanctioned by a marriage license do not have the legal protections available to married couples. In a marital relationship there are laws established to protect a spouse in the event of a divorce or separation. The same protections are not necessarily available to committed couples that are not sanctioned by law.

A domestic partnership agreement or co-habitation agreement may specify each partners rights and responsibilities during the relationship and set forth a division of property if the couple wishes to separate. Issues in dispute may be children, a house, joint checking or savings accounts, purchases of items during the relationship, division of expenses or debts that may have been incurred for the benefit of both parties.

These matters can be addressed in the collaborative process, mediation, or by an agreement with each party having legal representation. A written domestic partnership agreement or co-habitation agreement does not have the same protections as that of an agreement between marital partners. There must be a promise and consideration for the agreement to withstand challenge by a party to the agreement.

These agreements are not for every couple in a committed relationship. In some relationships they may not be necessary. If you are in a long-term committed relationship and want to provide for each other, or wish to make a determination as to how to dispose of certain properties acquired during the relationship, you may want to consider drafting an agreement as to your intent.

Further, if one of the partners has a catastrophic event occur, such as a serious health issue, you may want to consider a health care proxy, will, or a power of attorney. If your partner becomes incapacitated due to illness or a catastrophic event, the decisions made under these circumstances will be made by the nearest relative, not yourself without written authorization.

I represent clients in Onondaga County, Madison County, Cayuga County and Oswego County. I reside in the City of Syracuse and my office is located at 4030 New Court Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13206.
I can be reached at (315) 463-5747 or by e-mail at

Deborah A. Bellomo • Attorney at Law 4030 New Court Ave., Syracuse, New York

Serving Onondaga, Madison, Cayuga, and Oswego Counties

No charge for initial consultation - evening and weekend appointments on request.
This is a legal advertisment only and does not create an attorney client relationship.


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