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Tackling domestic partnership issues in a Massachusetts divorce

As more states continue to legalize same-sex marriages, Domestic partnership issues remain in the spotlight. As previously discussed in our Massachusetts family law blog, the increase in the number of states that recognize gay marriage has led to an associated increase in the number of gay divorces. As the forerunner of legalization of same-sex marriage, Domestic partnership issues such as divorce, child custody and child support are nothing new to experienced Worcester Family Law attorneys.

Thirteen states across the country now recognize gay marriages. The vast majority of these states require individuals to reside in the state for a certain time period before they can file for divorce. The problem for couples arises when they move to a state that does not recognize the legality of same-sex marriages. This can prevent or delay a couple from getting a divorce. It can also inhibit one's attempts to move forward with his or her life, as one cannot get remarried while still legally married under the laws of another state.

Despite this summer's historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving the rights of same-sex couples, these couples continue to face challenges not experienced by most traditional couples. A same-sex divorce is often more costly than a traditional divorce. Issues regarding child support, visitation, adoption and parental rights are also often more complex since there is a lack of legal authority on these issues.

What is clear is that the best way for a same-sex couple to protect their legal rights in the event of divorce is to enlist the help of an experienced legal professional. A Massachusetts family law attorney can counsel same-sex couples on all the potential pitfalls and roadblocks associated with a same-sex divorce, while helping to navigate the complexities that may arise.

Source: The Washington Times, "What follows gay marriage? Gay divorce?" Myra Fleischer, Sept. 10, 2013

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