Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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What divorce options are available to same-sex spouses?

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for some time now. Unfortunately, just like those who pursue traditional marriages, unions between same\-sex spouses do not always thrive. When they do not, these couples may be left wondering what divorce options are open to them.

In Massachusetts, there are four different types of divorce: contested, uncontested, fault or no-fault. A contested divorce is one in which one party does not agree with the filing or some aspect of the proposed settlement. An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree with everything -- or at least do not wish to fight the filing -- and are willing to accept the proposed settlement terms.

While it is completely possible to file a no-fault divorce -- meaning the filing spouse simply feels there is no way to repair the marriage -- some people do wish to file fault divorces -- meaning that one spouse is being held entirely responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. There are currently seven grounds for fault divorces. These are adultery, addiction, desertion, abuse, incarceration, non-support and impotency. Filing a fault divorce can be rather time-consuming, as one has to establish evidence to support one's claims of fault.

These divorce options are available to same-sex spouses and all other couples in Massachusetts who wish to end their marriages. At the end of the day, when getting the process started, one simply has to choose which type of divorce will best serve his or her best interests in the long run. An experienced family law attorney can provide more information about the different divorce types so that one is able to make a well-informed decision.

Source: mass.gov, "Choose which type of divorce to file", Accessed on Dec. 16, 2017

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