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July 2012 Archives

Same-sex divorce: Massachusetts views civil unions as marriage

When is a same-sex marriage in Massachusetts not a lawful marriage? A recently ruling by our state Supreme Court held that another state's civil union would be recognized as a marriage in the Bay State. The case involved a same-sex couple that was married here. During a subsequent same-sex divorce proceeding, one party learned that his spouse had entered a civil union in a neighboring state in 2003.

Trusts may help Massachusetts couples protect assets in divorce

For many, coming to a financial settlement during the course of a divorce proceeding can be a stressful and difficult process. However, for many Massachusetts' residents who are facing a divorce, setting up a trust may be one way to ensure that their assets are protected. These trusts, if created before the marriage, can protect certain assets if they become subject to a property settlement dispute during the course of a divorce proceeding.

Statistics lacking on same-sex divorce

Same-sex marriage has become a prominent point of political debate in recent years. And while several states have now legalized same-sex marriage, there is still a lack of statistical information surrounding same-sex couples. The focus in Massachusetts and around the country has been on same-sex marriage, but few have taken the time to look into same-sex divorce. As a result, very few studies have been conducted as to the rate of same-sex divorce and the causes of their dissolution.

Court orders mother to pay child support to emancipated daughter

An out-of-state court decision has held that children who are legally emancipated from their parents may be entitled to child support payments. In a unanimous decision, the court held that a girl, who had left her home at age 13 due to her mother's abusive boyfriend, was entitled to collect child support from her mother until she turned 18. This decision could prove relevant to Massachusetts children who are in need of support from their parents despite being legally emancipated, though the court decision from another state is not directly binding in ours.

Be careful of being too nice during a Massachusetts divorce

Experts have found that a large amount of mistakes made in a divorce proceeding come from the parties being too nice to each other. In many cases, this desire is based on the parties looking to leave the marriage with as little resistance as possible. However, this mentality can backfire on Massachusetts couples looking for a divorce and, according to many experts, can leave them in a disadvantaged situation.

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