These days, the first sign of a marriage breakup may come by way of social media. On sites like Facebook, when a married individual changes their relationship status on their web page to "single," it is a clear indication that divorce may be imminent. More and more, Facebook is making its mark on divorce cases in Hampshire and Hamden counties in Massachusetts and throughout the country. One current proceeding in a Midwestern state bears mentioning not only for its impact on divorce proceedings but also for the potential constitutional issues involved.
Should you think about a divorce before you even get married? With statistics showing that about 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce, maybe it is not such a bad thing to prepare for the possibility of splitting up at the same time you are getting ready to walk down the aisle. Years ago, that idea would have seemed far-fetched in Massachusetts and elsewhere. But the simple truth is that more and more people are turning to prenuptial agreements to spell out what will happen in the event that happily ever after turns out to last less than a lifetime.
An important judicial ruling was handed down by the Massachusetts Appeals Court on Feb. 2 regarding the rights of same-sex couples in child custody litigation. The court determined that child custody disputes between same-sex couples shall be treated in the same manner as disagreements are treated between heterosexual couples. The case arose when a same-sex couple from Suffolk County filed for divorce. They had arranged together for the artificial insemination of one partner two months before they were married. At issue was a current state law that refers only to a "husband" and a "married woman."
A recent news article offered some interesting facts concerning marriages in Massachusetts. We typically hear that about half of all marriages end in divorce, and for that reason, media reports are full of stories and articles about celebrity breakups and matrimonial law topics. While these often cover important and relevant issues, it bears mentioning that statistics show our state ranks among the lowest in the country when it comes to divorce.