Non-traditional couples may face unique legal issues

For many same-sex couples in Massachusetts, issues of marriage and divorce can become complicated. These matters can become exponentially more complex when a couple chooses to relocate to a state in which same-sex marriage is not recognized. In such cases, non-traditional couples are often confronted with legal issues that differ from those faced by heterosexual couples.

This may be the case for reality television host David Tutera, whom readers may know for his role on the show ‘My Fair Wedding.’ Tutera married his husband ten years ago, but the couple relocated to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage. They are now seeking to end their marriage, and are also facing a child custody battle.

The couple is currently working with a surrogate who is carrying twins scheduled to be born in July. However, the men have been separated since Jan. 2013, and are currently seeking to end their union. Tutera’s husband is asking for full custody of the twins, and has recently gone public with accusations that Tutera has an addiction to sex. He further claims that Tutera frequently uses the services of escorts and prostitutes to conduct sexual activity.

As this case moves through the legal process, the men will likely face issues that confront all non-traditional couples, including difficulties divorcing in a state that does not allow same-sex marriage. The matter of child custody may move forward in a separate proceeding, and each side will have the chance to present a legal argument as to why he should have custody of the twins. The family court judge will weigh all evidence and testimony when making a child custody determination, and will make a decision that best supports the needs of the as-of-yet unborn children. Massachusetts readers may find the ultimate resolution of interest, especially if they plan to relocate across state lines.

Source: USA Today, “David Tutera refutes sex addiction claims,” Ann Oldenburg, May 2, 2013

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