Boston Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
It took decades of activism to give same-sex couples the right to marry in the U.S. First, in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the United States v. Windsor. Then, in 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples had the right to marry anywhere in the country.
Unfortunately, with marriage comes divorce. Life has twists and turns, and no matter their gender, no couple can predict what the future holds.
If you are in a same-sex marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership and are ready to get a divorce in Massachusetts, work with an attorney who understands how your circumstances may be unique. You and your spouse might have to deal with issues heterosexual marriages can avoid.
At Infinity Law Group, we work with anyone on family law matters, no matter their sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We welcome gay, lesbian, transgender, and non-binary clients.
Let us help you through a Massachusetts divorce. Give our LGBTQ+ divorce lawyers a call at (617) 250-8236 or use our online form to request a free consultation. Our law firm has offices in Quincy, Newton, and Boston, MA.
Legal Issues in LGBTQ+ Divorce
Certain matters are important during divorce, no matter the spouses’ sex or gender expressions. Infinity Law Group will help you navigate:
Preparing for Divorce
Whether you choose to file or receive divorce papers, you have to prepare to live on one budget. Financially navigating a divorce is challenging. Let us help you get ready.
Massachusetts’ law says the marital property will be divided equitably between the two spouses. There’s a distinction between marital and separate property, which you should discuss with your lawyer. An equitable division might be 50/50—but it might not.
One factor a judge can consider when dividing property is the length of the marriage. Because of the previous ban on same-sex marriage, your relationship might be much longer than your legal marriage. We will push for judges to consider the true length of your cohabitation when making significant decisions.
You and your spouse can agree to alimony, or a Massachusetts court can award it. There are four types: general term, rehabilitative, reimbursement, and transitional. The court looks at many factors to decide if one spouse needs financial support from the other for a time.
Under MA law, the length of your marriage impacts alimony. Massachusetts has recognized same-sex marriages since May 2004. It was one of the first states to do so. But that means no legal same-sex marriage is older than the year 2004, and a judge can’t require alimony for more than 80 percent of the number of months you were married. However, under certain circumstances, you might be able to convince a judge to consider that your marriage predates 2004 simply because you were not legally allowed to get married.
Child custody is often a contested issue during a divorce, but it may be more complicated for same-sex couples. Some couples have children that are biologically or legally related to only one parent.
If you and your spouse had a child during the marriage, you might not need to worry. Following Gabriella Della Corte v. Angelica Ramirez, adoption by the non-biological parent isn’t necessary. A child born to a same-sex married couple is the legitimate child of both parents. You have the same parental rights as opposite-sex parents.
But if you are a parent who isn’t on your child’s birth certificate, and you haven’t legally adopted your child, talk with a same-sex divorce lawyer immediately. We’ll do everything in our power to maintain your relationship with your child.
In some cases, a court might treat you like a stepparent instead of an equal, legal parent. That doesn’t mean you’ll lose all contact with your children. If the court recognizes you as a de facto parent, you may still be entitled to parenting time. You may be considered a de facto parent if you’ve been a primary caregiver and have a long, close relationship with your child.
Massachusetts’ law doesn’t favor one parent over another, even with heterosexual couples. Child custody is awarded based on what’s best for the child. You and your spouse can decide the best parenting plan for your family, or you can let the judge decide both legal and physical custody.
Massachusetts has four custody arrangements: Sole legal custody, shared legal custody, sole physical custody, and shared physical custody. A judge doesn’t have to assign legal and physical custody the same way. Also, shared physical custody can mean an equal division of the child’s time or one parent may have primary physical custody while the other receives parenting time.
Child support in Massachusetts has nothing to do with either parent’s sex or gender. It is a straightforward calculation. Talk with a same-sex divorce lawyer about MA child support guidelines. Typically, the parent with lesser parenting time pays support to the primary, custodial parent.
Are You Experiencing Discrimination?
When going through a divorce, you need legal professionals who treat you the same way as any heterosexual couple going through this process. Unfortunately, discrimination happens. If you believe a lawyer or member of the court system has discriminated against you and impacted your divorce, call us immediately.
You may face discrimination from your spouse. This problem can arise when you begin to live as gay, transgender, or non-binary publicly. When you’re going through a contested divorce because of a personal characteristic, work with a strong Boston divorce attorney who will protect your rights during the legal process.
Call a Boston LGBTQ+ Divorce Lawyer Today
The divorce process is stressful and emotional. We recommend working with an experienced divorce attorney. At Infinity Law Group, we make sure you understand the law and your options. We’ll guide you through this process, whether you’re going through an uncontested or contested divorce