For same-sex couples who are contemplating a break-up, there are often multiple issues with which they must deal. If children are a part of the equation, the situation can become even more complex. Below are tips to make divorce a little easier for these couples in Massachusetts.
Get familiar with the laws concerning custody and support. Since Massachusetts recognizes same-sex marriage, some of the issues that come up in other states won’t apply. It is important, however, to know one’s rights and how the law addresses individual scenarios.
Find a lawyer that meets your needs. When a same-sex couple with children divorce, it can be helpful for them to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law, especially as it applies to same-sex couples. An experienced attorney can be an invaluable resource in what could be a trying time.
Now is the time to review any existing agreements or documents pertaining to the relationship. If a prenuptial agreement was signed, did it take children into account? Are there documents outlining estate-planning that should be considered? Occasionally, some of the issues that come up during the filing period have already been settled. It’s a good idea to check early on in the process.
Continue to keep the same routine, even if one partner is pushing to make drastic changes. Routine and past history are taken into account by the court when deciding things like child custody. Changing the day-to-day routine and then later asking for it to return to what it once was rarely works.
Be aware of the laws and regulations concerning child support. In a divorce, the court generally uses a state-mandated guideline to determine how much support, if any, will be paid. It is a good idea to become familiar with those guidelines in order to more accurately plan for some of the financial changes the change to the marriage will bring.
Divorce does not have to be a time of strife or conflict. For couples with children, it is especially important that does not occur. By preparing carefully and knowing all the options available to them, divorcing parents can get through what may be a difficult period and move on to happier times.
Source: Huffington Post, Facing Divorce? Top 5 Things Same-Sex Couples With Children Need to Know, Nicole H. Sodoma, Feb. 21, 2014