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Gay marriage, property division and divorce

Massachusetts was a leader state in legalizing gay marriage. Now, many Massachusetts couples enjoy all of the benefits that a marriage provides. With some marriages, however, comes divorce and, with the right of marriage, also comes the right to divorce.

Getting a divorce in Massachusetts is a right that residents enjoy. Some gay couples have recently started to venture to other states to get a divorce. They do this after obtaining a legal marriage in a state that recognizes gay marriage. Couples state that they are attempting these procedures in order to pressure the state in to recognizing the legality of their marriage.

Fortunately, gay couples in Massachusetts enjoy all of the protections that straight couples do, including divorce. When a marriage between a gay couple deteriorates, they may seek the assistance of the Massachusetts courts when dividing their property.

Property division in Massachusetts is governed by equitable distribution. This means that a court will divide property in a manner that is "right and just" if the couple is unable to reach a settlement. When doing this, a court considers if the property belongs to the individual, separate property, or to the couple, community property. A court does not have to divide assets in a perfect 50/50 split in an equitable distribution state.

Gay and straight couples use the involvement of the court when going through a divorce and property division. An essential way for these individuals to protect their rights is to assess their options with an experienced legal professional practicing in the state of Massachusetts.

Source: Morning Sun News, "Next step for same-sex marriage: The right to divorce," David Crary and Holbrook Mohh, Dec. 2, 2013

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