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Boston Same-Sex Divorce Attorney

Contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C. if Considering a Same-Sex Divorce

For over half a decade, same-sex couples have had the right to marry in Boston, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared that same-sex marriages are to be treated exactly like heterosexual marriages. In short, that means that all divorces are processed in the same manner.

Beginning the Process

As with any Massachusetts divorce, at least one of the spouses needs to file a complaint for divorce in the Probate and Family Court. In the case of a no-fault divorce, both parties can file an uncontested petition, or one party can file a contested petition. A divorce can also be sought on the grounds of fault as a result of adultery, gross and confirmed intoxication, cruel and abusive treatment, desertion, impotency, or a spouse who is confined to jail or prison for more than five years.

The Terms of Same-Sex Divorce

The Massachusetts Probate and Family Courts handle the division of marital property and alimony for all married couples. The process is to determine an equitable, but not necessarily equal, division of mutual property. Some of the factors that the court will take into consideration when making these allocations include the length of the marriage, the job skills and employability of both spouses, the current income of each spouse, as well as the potential future income of each, and the liabilities or debt of both spouses.

Custody and Child Support

Custody and child support are also determined using the same guidelines that apply to heterosexual couples. The primary concern when determining custody and child support is the well-being of the child or children involved. The court will examine who has been the primary caregiver, the needs of the child or children, the abilities of each parent to meet the child or children’s needs, and in some cases, the child’s preference. Child support in Massachusetts is determined by a formula that includes:

  • Gross annual income of the non-custodial parent
  • Amount of weekly child support paid for children from a previous marriage
  • Number of children subject to the pending action
  • Age of the oldest child
  • Gross annual income of the custodial parent
  • Annual cost of childcare
  • Weekly cost of family group healthcare
  • Who pays for the insurance

Same-Sex Couples Who Move from Massachusetts

If you and your spouse were married in Massachusetts, but then left the Commonwealth and reside in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, you might be required to return to Massachusetts to file for divorce. In such an instance, you would need to have lived in Massachusetts when the cause of the divorce occurred. This could be any of the grounds for divorce listed above. If you are seeking a no-fault divorce, the cause would be considered to be the moment when you determined that your marriage was over and there is no hope of a reconciliation.

At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we have nearly two decades of experience helping clients sort through all aspects of divorce, including:

Our Boston divorce lawyers have the experience and expertise needed to assist you in completing the divorce process and preparing to begin your new life in a financially stable position. Call (617) 870-0907 today, to schedule a free consultation.