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Middlesex County Divorce Law Blog

Massachusetts divorce law paves the way again in gay couples

Massachusetts has led the way for couples in other states to strike down the ban on same sex marriages. Conversely, it has also impacted whether to allow same-sex divorce.

Many other states have followed Massachusetts' lead, most notably, the state of Colorado. Gay couples have lobbied there to fight the ruling to wait until the matter was brought to the Supreme Court. Recently the state Supreme Court has mandated an end to the ban on same-sex marriages. In a bold move, the county clerk was ordered to stop issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples pending a ruling on the ban's constitutionality. In the meantime, gay couples have been campaigning vigorously to overturn the motion and have received support from some local district judges.

Neighboring state proposes alimony reform

Massachusetts is not the only state noted for its pioneering. Its neighbor, New Jersey, is undergoing a process that could signal the start of changes in spousal support. After months of haggling, New Jersey lawmakers have arrived to a proposal that would present a landmark compromise move in the area of alimony reform.

The state is proposing an end to permanent alimony that would affect excessive number of payments reflecting the duration of a marriage. They are suggesting a cap of five years of spousal support.

Football team owner to testify in child custody case

Massachusetts football fans are probably familiar with the antics of Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, who has been accused of a variety of legal violations in recent months. Irsay, who was arrested in March on allegations of intoxicated driving, is now being compelled to testify in a child custody case in Indiana. The case relates to the children of his cohabiting partner, whose ex-husband does not want his kids exposed to Irsay’s antics.

Official reports show that the man petitioned the court to order Irsay to testify at a child custody hearing. The ex-husband says he does not want his children to be around the Colts owner, whom he accuses of being a substance abuser and lacking “morals and self-respect” despite his financial prowess. The father believes that Irsay’s testimony will reveal the negative aspects of the atmosphere in which the children are being raised.

Massachusetts watches marriages end in divorce on documentary

The state of Massachusetts is famous for its revolutionary approval of gay marriage a decade ago. But nothing prepares us for what happens after the excitement of the wedding glow recedes and we are left with human emotions, realities and hardships of life. Relationships end, and couples are left with slugging out who gets what.

One filmmaker of a popular documentary airing on cable television has created what some may label required viewing for any couple contemplating marriage. In the various steps of the process, he discovers that many individuals were only too happy to talk about love and relationships, and all too often, their unfortunate demise.

Parents in Massachusetts could see more even split in custody

The American Psychological Association puts out statistics on divorce in the United States, and they have said that as many as 50 percent of the people who get married will likely one day get divorced. Additional research shows that anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of couples find themselves fighting over how much custody time each one of them should get for their children, unable to agree on something that suits both of them.

Two years ago, the Massachusetts governor put together a group to address custody time for parents when they go through a divorce, and that group has now come forward with potential new legislation that could create some large changes.

Same-sex spouse entitled to alimony

Massachusetts has long been known as a pioneer state in the treatment of same-sex couples. It became the first state to allow legal gay marriage and now, years later, has its share of gay divorce, child custody and alimony.

Since the highest court in the land found the Federal Defense of Marriage Act was a violation of the US Constitution, the Internal Revenue Service considers alimony payments to same sex partners on an equal footing as heterosexual couples. After a couple breaks up, the spouse paying alimony is not allowed to deduct financial support for the other spouse.

Massachusetts may be best state to file for divorce

If you move to the state of Massachusetts after residing in another state, you might need to adjust your divorce proceedings.

One couple coming from Maryland recently discovered they had to wait up to a year before filing divorce, in spite of having already been separated for 12 months. The decision to move followed the husband's relocation for work and the desire to keep geographical proximity a priority in the divorce agreement.

Keystone state follows Massachusetts in gay marriage ruling

Ten years ago, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. It started a trend in which its neighbor to the west recently followed suit. The governor of the Keystone state made a key decision in supporting a federal court decision to rule against the ban on gay marriage.

The move came after the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Pennsylvania brought a suit against the state in support of gay marriages. The decision carries the weight of the ACLU behind it, as well as a U.S. Middle District Judge. The Judeg ruled in favor of dismantling the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, claiming it represented a violation of one's constitutional rights.

Same sex couples no more likely to divorce in Massachusetts

Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage 10 years ago. For many, it was a leap of faith to imply gay and lesbian couples would be better able to sustain long-lasting commitments. After all, they had yearned to prove themselves equal and deserving of equitable treatment in their personal relationships.

But humans are human, and by their nature, imperfect and incapable of perfection. Ten years later, other states have followed suit, while others still dispute the constitutionality of same sex marriage and the consequences thereof. The public wants to know if allowing gay individuals to marry has been an experiment to test the institution of marriage. Some expect to see a failure of enormous proportions stemming from the alleged "immorality" of the gay world.

Massachusetts listens as Oregon judge rules on same-sex marriage

Massachusetts has long been known as a pioneer in defense of same-sex marriage, as well as dealing with fallout from this phenomenon, including same-sex divorce, child custody and property disputes.

When another state in the U.S. struck down the ban on same-sex marriage, gay couples and their advocates applauded throughout the country. The state of Oregon, traditionally an opponent of same-sex unions, handed down a landmark decision through the words of a gay judge. He called his decision a confirmation of the U.S. Constitution, protecting the rights of all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.

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