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Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

A look at same-sex divorce

For many same-sex couples in Massachusetts, the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts was a cause for celebration. However, when it comes to divorce, many of these couples may face challenges. Because the recognition of same-sex marriage is relatively new, many of the laws involved in divorce can become very complicated.

Sometimes, same-sex couples were married in a different state and have recently moved to Massachusetts. These couples may face challenges, as the laws regarding residency can be complex. In some states, there is a required amount of time in which a person has to reside in a state before they are able to divorce. In Massachusetts, this period of time is one year.

Some cases, too, involve same-sex couples who decided to seek a state-recognized arrangement prior to same-sex marriage becoming legalized. In these cases, couples may have entered a civil union or domestic partnership. The laws for domestic partnerships and civil unions may differ from those involved in marriage. Because of this, it is often important to be aware of how these laws may affect a couple's separation.

Determining how civil unions and domestic partnerships will affect a same-sex divorce can all be highly complex. Because same-sex marriage has not been around as long, the laws surrounding divorce may be a source of much confusion. These laws change quickly and it can be difficult to keep up with their fluctuations. Thankfully, there are attorneys who are well-versed in these laws and are kept up to date on the changes that may occur. With an up-to-date understanding of the divorce laws involved, it is often possible to settle a same-sex divorce in a way that is satisfactory to both parties.

Source: FindLaw, "Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know," Accessed on January 19, 2016

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Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
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