Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Same-Sex Couples & Non-Marital Disputes Archives

Same-sex spouses only eligible for SSA benefits in nuptial states

While nontraditional families across America continue the battle for equality regarding laws relating to same-sex marriage and divorce, the wheels of change are slowly turning. Since part of the Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, same-sex spouses have been granted a host of benefits relating to marriage and divorce, even for couples who reside in states where same-sex marriages are not recognized. However, same-sex couples who got married in Massachusetts may want to be aware of exclusions where state laws rule.

Guidance issued on retirement accounts for same-sex couples

This week regulators continued the slow trickle of federal guidelines reacting to last year’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. The latest set of guidelines that have been announced that will impact married same-sex couples were issued in regards to retirement benefits. These benefits are very important for Massachusetts families planning for their future.

Biology can dictate child custody between same-sex spouses

Same-sex divorce can be very complicated, if there are children involved. Child custody can be difficult to settle if one of the partners is a biological parent of the child or children and, although the other is not, has developed a close bond with the child.

Same-sex spouses' children affected by parenting and not gender

As is the case with most unions, questions regarding the well-being of the children often arise. Are they taken care of? Are their best interests considered? Same-sex spouses from Worcester, Massachusetts, are privy to these kinds of questions. And, often, they encounter one more very sensitive question: are children ultimately affected by the sexual orientation of their parents?

Property division disputes not uncommon for cohabitating couples

Worcester residents may be familiar with the increasing divorce rate in the United States. Due to the economic crisis, the rising costs of living expenses and overwhelming debt, many couples consider living together. Cohabitation may fall under non-traditional family matters, but just like married individuals in Massachusetts, once they decide to go their separate ways, property division may prove to be challenging.

DOMA may affect same-sex spouses in Massachusetts

Worcester and other Massachusetts readers may know that society, just like technology, evolves, including family law issues. Nowadays, non-traditional family settings are becoming more commonplace and more accepted. Some couples live together without being married; others live in blended families or with same sex spouses. With non-traditional family matters, same-sex marriage can be considered controversial.

Making it easier for step-parents to adopt in Massachusetts

In the event of a divorce, a spouse often remarries and a step-parent enters the life of the child. When this occurs, the step-parent may have difficulty dealing with the children. It is also believed that step-parent adoption may occur, but before that, a step-parent needs to learn how to develop a good relationship with the child.

Mitt Romney's comments to same-sex spouses seen as insensitive

New reports have detailed an uncomfortable meeting between Mitt Romney and several same-sex spouses in Massachusetts. According to the reports, Romney met with several plaintiffs in 2004 who were involved with the landmark case, Goodridge vs. Dept of Public Health, which legalized gay marriage in the state of Massachusetts.

Pastor oversteps in civil union child custody dispute, jury rules

As the first state to approve of same-sex marriages, one would think Massachusetts might be immune to contentious same-sex issues; however that may not be the case. Some other states do not recognize our same-sex marriages and thus struggle with what to do when a couple wants to divorce. For example, who is awarded child custody? Will other states recognize custody?

Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on civil unions

Our Massachusetts readers are no doubt aware that same-sex marriage has been legal here following a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 2003. It seems the court is breaking ground again.

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