Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Laws regarding same-sex divorce

In Massachusetts and elsewhere, the increase in same-sex marriages over the last couple years has been accompanied by an influx in same-sex divorces. It is to be expected. No marriage is perfect, and divorce is sometimes the best answer when a marriage fails to thrive. How a same-sex divorce is handled has changed dramatically over the years. This column will address law changes affecting same-sex divorce cases.

It was not until 2015 that same-sex marriages were legally recognized nationwide. With this change in federal law, those who entered same-sex marriages earned the right to have their relationships recognized in their state of residence and across state lines. This was a big deal because, previously, marriages may have been recognized in one state but not another if the couple had to relocate.

As same-sex marriages are now legally recognized, divorces are also to be acknowledged. Same-sex couples who choose to file for divorce in Massachusetts may do so, and their divorce cases will be handled just like a traditional divorce case. State laws will apply when it comes to issues such as property division, alimony, child custody and child support.

Whether going through a traditional or a same-sex divorce, the end goal is the same. Couples simply want to dissolve their marriages after having achieved the best settlements possible for their circumstances. With the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, same-sex couples can take the steps necessary toward achieving this goal. While coming to agreeable terms that comply with the laws of Massachusetts may take time, it is in the realm of possibility.

Source: FindLaw, "Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know", Accessed on Dec. 23, 2016

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