Same-Sex Divorce Can Present Unique Legal Challenges

Work With A Lawyer Who Is Familiar With These Important Differences

In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the U.S. to allow same-sex couples to marry. As with opposite-sex marriages, some of those relationships fall apart and the parties involved wish to divorce.

Many of the laws that pertain to divorce in Massachusetts are the same whether you are a same-sex couple or an opposite-sex couple. There are some important differences, however, including regulations regarding tax benefits for paying spousal support and factors impacting the amount of alimony a partner may receive.

Same-sex couples that were married in Massachusetts and have since moved out of the state may have difficulty getting divorced if the state they live in does not recognize same-sex marriage.

It is important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable about the differences that same-sex couples may encounter when getting divorced. I am Rebecca E. Rogers, a lawyer with more than 10 years of experience working on Massachusetts family law issues, including same-sex divorce. I will guide you through the process and point out the particular areas that are handled differently for same-sex couples.

Be Aware Of Federal Tax Consequences

One of the more significant differences for a same-sex couple that is getting divorced focuses on alimony. An individual who divorced someone of the opposite sex and who is now paying spousal support can claim a tax deduction for those payments on his or her federal tax return. Because the federal government utilizes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which classifies marriage as a union between a man and a woman, a person who pays alimony as part of a same-sex divorce cannot claim the same tax deduction.

Child custody issues can be complex as well, particularly if there is a biological parent and the non-biological parent did not legally adopt the child. Issues regarding financial responsibility and parental rights of the non-biological parent can be disputed. In these situations, I work to resolve any disputes through negotiations rather than drag the child through protracted litigation.

A Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Who Can Help You Protect Your Rights

If you are facing a same-sex divorce, I have the experience and knowledge to protect your rights and put you in the best possible position to carry on with your life. I work with individuals throughout Essex and Middlesex counties and the surrounding counties. For your convenience, I have offices in Lynnfield and North Reading. Contact me to schedule a free consultation.