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June 2015 Archives

U.S. Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage

Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to recognize gay marriage when it began allowing same-sex couples to marry in 2004. Public attitudes toward gay marriage have since evolved, and a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has settled any lingering legal questions raised by the issue. The June 26 decision gives gay couples in any U.S. state the constitutional right to marry.

Same-sex divorce of couple wed in Massachusetts upheld in Texas

While same-sex couples are increasingly being allowed to get married and have the union legally recognized, there are hovering questions about same-sex divorce. Massachusetts is important in a vast number of these cases as it was there that many of the couples were first able to legally marry. This was the situation with two women who were married to one another and had their subsequent divorce upheld by the Texas Supreme Court.

Custody laws receive poor shared parenting grades

A 2014 report card from the National Parents Organization rated how shared parenting was dealt with in state child custody laws, and Massachusetts was awarded a C+ grade. While this may not seem to be a ringing endorsement, only five states received better grades. The law is often accused of failing to keep up with changes in society, and many legal experts say that outdated gender roles form the basis of much of the nation's child custody laws.

Chris Rock's prenup expired before his divorce

Massachusetts residents who are fans of comedian Chris Rock might be interested to learn about his divorce. In December, Rock filed for divorce from his wife and agreed that the prenuptial agreement they had previously signed had expired. Now, Rock's estranged wife is seeking a portion of his $70 million estate that is commensurate with the marital standard of living.

Study looks at contributions of so-called deadbeat dads

Many people in Massachusetts view a man who doesn't pay his monthly child support bill as a 'deadbeat dad." A new study that was published in the June issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family demonstrated how many of these so-called deadbeat dads don't deserve the nickname. According to a sociologist who authored the study, low-income dads end up appearing distanced from their children on paper while they are actually giving their children a lot.

Child support laws and public opinion

Parents in Massachusetts may not realize that research shows a disconnect between the way child support laws work and the way people view them. The public seems to believe the formulas used to calculate child support are not fair, according to one recently-published study. The study found that existing child support laws are unfair in the eyes of the public. When the mother is the custodial parent, the public seems to believe that child support should be based on the mother's income and adjusted depending on how her income changes. However, in some states, child support is determined based exclusively on the income of the noncustodial parent, typically the father. In other states, the incomes of both parents are used to determine the amount of child support owed, with a strong emphasis on the noncustodial parent's income.

Social Security benefits and divorce

When a Massachusetts couple is contemplating a divorce, there are often several issues that must be considered. If the couple has children, they may need to determine where the children will live and how much in child support the custodial parent may seek. However, many couples who are heading towards their 10-year anniversary may not realize that there are future matters that they may be forgetting about.

Avoiding common financial mistakes when getting a divorce

When spouses in Massachusetts are pursuing a divorce, there are precautions they can take in order to keep the process as simple as possible. The effects of the end of a marriage can continue on long after the divorce decree is finalized, especially when it comes to financial matters. Due to this, there are some major issues spouses should avoid during the process.

Kidnap fears prompt court order in celebrity custody dispute

Massachusetts residents may recognize the actress Kelly Rutherford from her appearances on popular television shows including 'Gossip Girl" and 'Melrose Place," and they may also have learned from media reports that she has been involved in a contentious child custody dispute with her ex-husband. The 46-year-old actress divorced her husband in 2008 after two years of marriage, but the legal wrangling over custody of the couple's two children has continued on for several years.

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