Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Same-Sex Couples & Divorce Archives

Massachusetts family law: Adoption eligibility guidelines

Wanting to bring a child into one's home is a noble cause. There are a number of reasons to utilize the adoption process. The state of Massachusetts does, however, have strict guidelines when it comes to this family law matter, particularly in regard to who is eligible to adopt and how the adoption process is to work.

Growing your family the nontraditional way: Adoption

You want to grow your family and you have chosen to adopt in order to do that. Growing your family in this nontraditional way can be challenging. The adoption process often takes much longer than people expect it to, and it is filled with a million little hoops that need to be jumped through before a child ever finds his or her way into your home. There is no way to really fast-track the adoption process in Massachusetts, but with the assistance of legal counsel, it is possible to make sure everything that needs to be done is done right in order to avoid any delays.

Same-sex spouses going through gray divorce also need QDROs

Some people who are in nontraditional marriages may think that when they go through the divorce process, it is different for them than it is for traditional couples. The truth is, it's not. In Massachusetts, it is the same process for same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. When same-sex spouses divorce, particularly just before or during their retirement years, they, just like every other couple in their same position, need to concern themselves with splitting retirement accounts or assets in a way that will not have too big an impact on their standard of living when all is said and done.

When same-sex spouses divorce, there can be complications

Some same-sex couples who fought for the right to marry in Massachusetts and across the country may have been shocked and disappointed to win that right only to have their marriages come to an end. While it may be a sad reality that same-sex spouses have as much chance of divorcing as opposite sex couples, there can be added complications in a same-sex relationship. When these complications arise, it is best to have legal advice in case one's rights are in jeopardy.

Same-sex spouses may need help with second-parent adoptions

In Massachusetts, same-sex marriages have been recognized for several years now. A big struggle many same-sex spouses still have, though, is gaining rights to their own children. Biologically speaking, the child may only really belong to one parent, or from an adoption standpoint, the adoption may only have been awarded to one spouse. It doesn't matter if both spouses raise the child; in the eyes of the law, the child may only have one parent. If you find yourself wanting to have any legal rights to the child you share with your same-sex spouse, you will likely need to go through with a second-parent adoption. 

Once nontraditional, same-sex divorce is becoming commonplace

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the state of Massachusetts since 2004 -- long before it was made legal nationwide in 2015. With same-sex marriage comes the need for same-sex divorce options. While this all used to be considered nontraditional, it is now commonplace. This does not mean that getting through the divorce process will be easy or straightforward.

Family law attorney can help divorcing couples split IRAs

Whether one's marriage has been a traditional or non-traditional one, the divorce process can be challenging -- particularly when it comes to dividing assets. Certain assets may not be easily split. Thankfully, those in Massachusetts who are going through the dissolution process can turn to their family law attorney for assistance.

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.

What does DNA have to do with same-sex divorce?

Genes -- ever think about the role they play in one's life? Do they do more than determine what a person looks like? According to a recent study, one's DNA actually does matter when it comes to making important life decisions. The example in the study has to do with divorce. So, what exactly does DNA have to do with same\-sex divorce, and divorce in general, in Massachusetts and elsewhere?

Those in domestic partnerships can seek legal protections

Not every couple in Massachusetts chooses to get married. Not everyone believes that marriage is necessary. It is possible to just live together and build a wonderful life. However, without certain legal protections in place, those in domestic partnerships open themselves up to quite a few issues should their relationships fail to thrive.

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Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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