Talking about death and divorce on the eve of a marriage would likely be unpleasant and awkward, regardless of whether it is a heterosexual or a same-sex couple. However, these matters need to be discussed in order to protect the interests of both parties and any children they may have in the future. Prenuptial agreements may be of particular interest to same-sex spouses in Massachusetts.
Many same-sex couples have been in a serious relationship for several years before they are allowed to tie the knot legally. When heterosexual couples get divorced, the number of years they were married plays an important part in asset division and spousal support. The same goes for same-sex divorces. Property accumulated during the marriage has to be divided fairly, but many same-sex couples accumulated assets together for a significant time before they were allowed to get married.
Some same-sex couples elect to retain the services of an experienced same-sex divorce lawyer to guide them through the complicated legalities of prenuptial agreements. As same-sex spouses, you can use such an agreement to indicate how you want your assets divided in the unfortunate event of a divorce. If you relocate from a state that accepts same-sex marriages to a state where such marriages are not legal yet, you will likely lose many of the rights you had in the state where you got married. A prenuptial agreement may not only protect your civil rights, but also your parental rights if you have children.
Same-sex spouses in Massachusetts who are considering getting married may benefit from each consulting with a separate divorce attorney to represent them in drafting a prenuptial agreement. Such professionals will ensure that all aspects are covered in a manner that will protect the interests of both parties. Addressing these matters in a timely fashion may provide couples with peace of mind and the opportunity to enjoy married life. More information regarding same-sex marriage and divorce is available on our family law website.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Same-Sex Marriage: Consider a Prenup“, Karen Damato, Nov. 12, 2014