Same-Sex Couples & Divorce

Standards that can help children during divorce

When a relationship comes to an end, if there are children involved, the divorce can be quite hard for them. This is true for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples alike. Below are a few standards that can be used to help kids at this time. 1. Remember that the other parent also has rights regarding the kids, and be sure to support and uphold those rights. 2. Allow children to keep relationships with both parents. This means not doing anything to limit the involvement of your ex in the kids’ lives. This may be hard for you in such an emotional situation, but it is best for the children. 3. Take your time with the breakup. Do not make rash, emotional decisions. Instead, clearly think through every decision and what it’s going to mean for everyone involved. 4. Keep providing for the child and supporting him or her. If you have custody, you will likely provide some sort of support almost every single day. Even if you don’t, though, there are many ways you can still support your child — including the financial side — and help his or her growth and development. 5. Focus on consistency. The end goal should be to make sure that life changes as little as possible for the child, even when you and your spouse break up. All decisions — like where to live — can be based around this ideal. This can be hard to do, and it’s important to know all of

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Several facets affect same-sex divorces

Not all families are composed of the traditional husband and wife. Even though the composition of non-traditional families isn’t the same as traditional families, they still face some of the same family law issues. We know that trying to go through the Massachusetts laws pertaining to non-traditional families can be difficult, especially when you have a pressing matter to deal with. We can help you with all aspects of family law as it pertains to non-traditional families. One of the issues that can come up involves divorce. Ever since our state began recognizing same-sex marriage in 2004, the need for same-sex divorces has come up. During these proceedings, it is critical that you ensure that your rights are being protected. There are several facets of a same-sex divorce that we must consider. One of these is property division. Whether you have a high-asset case or you have fewer assets, we can help you to ensure that they are valued properly. While we are considering the division of property, we also need to consider the division of liabilities. We know that you don’t want to be stuck with all of the bills and none of the assets. If you have children, we need to get to work on the child custody, visitation and child support aspects of the case. These can often be aspects of the divorce that are filled with contention since both parents likely want to have the children as much as possible. We can work on your behalf

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What main areas are discussed during a divorce proceeding?

Before heading in for a divorce proceeding, it’s very important for same-sex couples in Massachusetts to know what will be addressed. Examples of the key areas that will be touched on—which are largely the same as they’d be for opposite-sex couples—include the following: 1. The grounds upon which the divorce was filed. If you don’t have anything specific, like domestic violence, that’s fine. You can file for no fault divorce, which is how the majority of filings are submitted. 2. All decisions to be made regarding children, if applicable. This includes both child custody and child support, along with visitation rights. 3. The division of all of the assets that the couple has. It’s important to remember that this could also include the division of debts. 4. Alimony or spousal support that needs to be paid. This is not used in all divorces, but can be if one spouse gave up a career or education and has little earning potential, having expected to be supported. 5. Changing names, if needed. 6. Protective orders. These are used when there is a larger issue, such as domestic violence. The spouse who has been abused may be worried that filing for divorce could cause a violent reaction from the other spouse, which means that protective orders and other measures are sometimes needed to keep the situation from escalating. Finally, it’s wise to note that you have to wait for the divorce to be finalized before you can get remarried. Now that you know

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Is same-sex divorce different from ‘traditional’ divorce?

As same-sex marriage has become more widely legalized and more common, it has given rise to a natural offshoot of this progression: an increase in same-sex divorce. As such, it’s important for people in Massachusetts—one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage—to know whether or not a same-sex divorce is going to be different than an opposite-sex divorce. In some areas, things are going to be carried out in a very familiar fashion. When dividing assets, for example, the gender of those involved has no bearing on the process. It tends to look the same with both types of divorces. When things get complicated is when child custody has to be determined. Much of this is because same-sex couples have different ways to bring children into their lives, such as adoption or In vitro fertilization (IVF). With the IVF process, the parent who carries the child is biologically related to that child, but the other parent is not. This doesn’t usually matter when the two are married, as they raise the child as their own, but it can add complications when a divorce happens. Courts may be more likely to give custody to the biological parent, and that parent may even argue that the child is not the other parent’s at all. Adoption is tricky as well, though it’s fair to note that some of the same issues come up with opposite-sex couples who adopt a child. While it may be complicated, IVF is more likely to cause a

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What can I expect in divorce court?

Though ideally every divorce would be settled civilly, outside of a courtroom, it is not realistic. You might be involved in a situation in which going to court is absolutely necessary. Examples include separations that involve cases of abuse or heated disputes over custody or personal property. Going to court can be a stressful process, but it does not have to be as intimidating as it may seem. Before you have your day in court, familiarize yourself with the process and learn what you can expect from divorce court. Despite what you might believe, a real-life court case is very much like what you might have seen on television. Watching a few episodes of Judge Judy before your case might help more than you would think—as well as relieve some of your stress thanks to the entertainment. If you started this action, you will be the petitioner or “plaintiff.” Your attorney will present your case to the judge and courtroom first. You might be called to the witness stand, where you will be sworn in and questioned about your situation. Once your lawyer has finished their questions, your spouse’s lawyer might choose to ask you a few questions. In most divorce cases, there are few or no witnesses. If there is one, it will probably be your child’s guardian ad litem. After your case has been presented, things will be turned over to your spouse’s attorney, who will then follow the same format. When both sides have rested, each attorney

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Divorce can be more difficult for same-sex couples

Divorce is often described as one of the most stressful events that can occur in two people’s life. This stress is even further multiplied if children are involved. Despite the challenges, millions of people continue to seek and work through their divorce so that they may live a happier lifestyle. For same-sex couples living in Massachusetts, divorce could be even more difficult due to complicated state’s rights. Even after the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned, same-sex couples are finding it difficult to maneuver through basic rights, such as the right to divorce from a partner that they married. This is due to the individual laws of states. For instance, if a couple got married in one state but is living in another that does not recognize gay marriage, getting a divorce process approved could be a hassle. In order to dissolve a partnership, a same-sex couple might need to establish residency within the state that first legally established the union. It is important that same-sex couples remain up to date on the individual laws and stances of each state in which they are living, and not just for the purpose of having an easier divorce. Even with the shift in society that is supportive of same-sex rights, it is unclear how the states will handle the switch, even with divorce. Divorce is stressful enough without having to jump through red tape. If you are seeking a divorce, from a same-sex partner or otherwise, speaking to an experienced attorney could

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Same sex divorce and children

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

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Same-sex marriage now legal in all 50 states

Massachusetts was the first state in the United States to legalize gay marriage in 2003. Gay marriage is now legal in every state under the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. In this landmark ruling, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to get married. The case is a historic moment for gay and lesbian couples throughout the nation. Although same-sex couples could already get married in 36 states and in the District of Columbia, the Supreme Court’s ruling means that the rest of the states must stop enforcing any bans on same-sex marriage. The ruling will not take effect immediately. The losing side has about three weeks to request the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling. Regardless, same-sex couples in Massachusetts are celebrating this victory. Same-sex couples can now be treated equally under the law for purposes such as spousal benefits, tax filing status, health care coverage, and social security. Another important impact of the ruling is that same-sex couples who want to get divorced will be able to do so in any state. Because all states must now recognize same-sex marriages, couples can seek the same relief as heterosexual couples who wish to dissolve their marriages. Like other couples, same-sex couples can ask the courts to enter orders regarding property division, child custody, alimony, and more. If you have questions about the recent ruling or are considering divorce, you may find it helpful to speak with an experienced family law attorney. The best way to

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