It is common to hear about a divorce in the news today as many marriages end in this manner. It is easy for people to become desensitized to the news, especially if they personally have not gone through the same experience. Many people do not realize that going through a divorce is comparable to dealing with the death of a loved one. These experiences are even more devastating for someone who is famous because his or her divorce details will be displayed throughout tabloids and entertainment news programs as constant reminders of their loss. One famous woman, married in Massachusetts, is learning about the complexity of the process of receiving a same-sex divorce.
Over the last couple of decades, attitudes and laws have changed drastically for same-sex couples. For example, Massachusetts set the standard for several other states by legalizing same-sex marriage years ago. While other states followed suit, there are still almost 40 states that have not legalized marriage between same-sex couples. Unfortunately, such variance in state laws causes' mass confusion for same-sex couples, their employees, and, occasionally, their healthcare providers.
It's not surprising that someone who has undergone a divorce has a story of how contentious it was. There is a lot of emotion and heartache that goes into the process that is hard to put aside. When children are involved, issues are even more complicated, with the potential of many proceedings that stretch out for several years. Massachusetts couples can learn about the importance of signing a divorce decree with a clause that may have a large impact on future decisions based on the experience of a same-sex couple in a different state.
The fact that some marriages end in divorce is a reality that all couples thinking of marching down the aisle must consider. Some states are beginning to wonder what actions can be taken to reduce the divorce rate. While states such as Massachusetts have found no-fault divorces to be effective, one state has even proposed removing the option for couples who have young children.
There have been huge gains made in the civil rights movement in the last 100 years. Knowing this, it is difficult to conceive that some people are still being discriminated against in modern times. Same-sex couples are still seeking equality. However, a bill soon to be presented to Congress will take a step in the right direction by banning discrimination in adoptions based on sexual orientation. While some states, such as Massachusetts, have laws allowing same-sex partner adoption, 39 states do not have laws that ban discrimination against the LGBT population.
There are few people who have gone through a divorce and said it was a blissful process. Many times, it is a contentious battle filled with strong emotions. For those without children who seek divorce, a relatively clean break can be made; however, those with children are forever attached to one another through their children even after the final divorce decree has been announced. When issues of child support are on the table, proceedings can become and remain bitter. Parents in Massachusetts can learn this lesson by following the story of Jermaine Jackson, a famous member of the Jackson 5.
Almost a year ago, Massachusetts revised their divorce laws. Little did they know that their revisions could spark a nationwide trend as now other states are considering changing their divorce laws in a similar fashion, and the rest of the nation watches. One of the main issues being addressed through the revisions is alimony.
Those people who are unable to conceive a child of their own often turn to adoption. One cannot imagine the joy a family has once they have found an adoptive match and met their new family member. For one family, however, the heartbreak of losing their adoptive child to her biological father has sparked a child custody battle that challenges federal law regarding adoptions of Native American children and landed them in front of the Supreme Court. The court's decision on the federal law may have an impact on adoptions in every state, including Massachusetts.
When the recent scandal involving David Petraeus and his mistress exploded across Massachusetts and the rest of the nation the topic of adultery again became a topic of conversation. But this time, the subject became mixed with family law and the discussion ventured into territories where adultery could be considered a crime or, at minimum, seriously harmful to the stability of a family. Several states recognize adultery as criminal, although it is rarely prosecuted these days. However, adultery often lands couples in court for separation or divorce proceedings.