In Massachusetts, same-sex marriage has been legal for a decade now. In that time, the state has become somewhat of a model for issues like same-sex couples’ rights, divorce proceedings and the like for both state courts and gay couples across the nation. One of the biggest issues all couples, gay or straight, face during a divorce is child custody. Here are a few tips for handling this scenario.
First, understand Massachusetts’ custody laws. If you and your partner cannot come up with a custody plan on your own, the courts will dictate one for you. Above all, the judge will ensure that the best interests of the child are taken care of. While you’re at it, review any prenuptial agreements, or other documents and make sure you are following any stipulations set forth within.
Once a custody and visitation policy has been set, it is vital you stick to it. Do not change your routine and customs with the kids just because your ex wants you to, or because your schedule gets busy. If you do, it could be detrimental to future visitation and custody rights. Also keep in mind the money you will have to set aside for child support. It can become extremely expensive with emergency medical bills and other surprises, and you need to make sure you can handle it.
The final piece of advice is to make sure you have a trusted, experienced family law attorney by your side. They may be able to petition the courts for fair rulings regarding custody and child support.