Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law

Same-sex divorce and cohabitation issues can be complicated

With society evolving at the pace it does, issues related to nontraditional families are becoming more prevalent. Many couples in Massachusetts choose not to get married, and legal issues may arise when such relationships end -- especially if there are children involved. Same-sex couples are free to get married, but in the event of a same-sex divorce, there may be some unique issues to be resolved.

Cohabiting couples in Worcester who are committed to long-term relationships may benefit from consulting with Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law. She can provide the necessary guidance in drafting a cohabitation or domestic partnership agreement in which separate property can be identified and the interests of both parties can be protected. This can be a particular concern in relationships in which one party owns the home. She can also assist non-married parents with issues related to child custody, parenting or visitation and other matters resulting from a split.

The same issues may arise when same-sex couples get divorced. While the court treats a same-sex divorce as any other, unique issues related to property division may occur. In many cases, same-sex relationships started decades before they were allowed to get married. While only assets gathered together during a marriage are typically regarded as marital property, those accumulated in their years together before marriage may be a source of contention.

Child custody, child support and spousal support are also issues that may need the skills of an experienced same-sex divorce attorney to resolve. Many variables can come into play, such as who the biological parent is and whether a second-parent adoption gave the other parent rights to custody. This is a complicated area of family law in Massachusetts, and Barbara J. Katzenberg can provide meticulous representation and empathetic counsel.

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