Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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September 2016 Archives

Same-sex family law: 50 years ago gay couples adopted each other

Years ago, marriage was a distant dream of gay couples nationwide, including in Massachusetts. While same\-sex divorce is a current problem for many, as far back as the 1970s, same-sex family law and gay marriages were not even considered. However, creative ways were found to obtain legal protection and benefits as next-of-kin.

Lessons about spousal support and more from celebrity divorces

While most Massachusetts people would likely not want their private affairs to be made public during divorce proceedings, there is a lot to be learned from the divorces of celebrities where even the tiniest details are often published. When comparing two cases that played out in opposite ways, it might be clear that prenuptial agreements play important roles during divorce proceedings. Battles over spousal support, child custody, property division and other contentious matters could be avoided if these issues were all addressed in prenuptial agreements.

Nontraditional family breakups can be difficult to navigate

Years ago, many same-sex couples got married in Massachusetts because it was not yet legal in their own states of residence. This caused legal problems for those whose marriages broke up later. A current child custody fight involves a mother whose partner adopted a 6-year-old child in 2007 after they had been together since 1999. Because marriages and child adoption were still taboo for a nontraditional family in their state, the partner was documented as the only parent of the child.

Amount and duration of alimony unique to each case

People in Massachusetts who are in need of financial assistance after a divorce are free to ask for it. While the alimony laws of the state are quite lenient, the court will require the applicant to justify the need. Alimony is allocated regardless of the applicant's gender, and it is classified as general, transitional, rehabilitative or reimbursement. Such support can even be pursued after the date of the divorce if the need can be proved.

Child custody and relocation after divorce can be complicated

Massachusetts parents who are separated or divorced and want to relocate may want to prepare themselves for a complicated process. When a parent with child custody wants to move to another city or state, there will be legal procedures that may even include a court appearance. The parent will have to provide motivation for the desire to relocate, and it may help to have some idea of what information must be gathered.

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Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Worcester, MA 01608

Phone: 508-471-3281
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