CALL FOR A CONSULTATION 978-745-6600 978-745-6600

Same-Sex Divorce

Respectfully Guiding Massachusetts Same-Sex Couples Through Divorce

Providing support for marriage dissolution

In many ways, divorce for same-sex couples is the same as that for heterosexual couples. It can be a painful, emotional and stressful experience for all involved. However, the law treats same-sex couples differently in terms of alimony payments, division of marital assets and enforcement of judgments across state lines. At Legasey & Associates, as a dedicated divorce lawyer practicing in Massachusetts for more than 35 years, I have kept abreast of the law regarding same-sex marriage and divorce. And as an active member and leader in local and national family law associations, I’ve remained at the forefront of developments in this legal area, supporting same-sex couples in their prenuptial and divorce proceedings.

More complicated laws for alimony and division of marital assets

The laws affecting alimony and the division of marital assets for same-sex couples are more complicated than those for heterosexual couples, for several reasons:

  • Federal pension plans, tax benefits and other long-term financial allocations may not be available to same-sex couples because of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
  • Determining the amount of alimony is more complex in same-sex marriages because Massachusetts courts weigh how long a couple has been married. A same-sex couple may have been living together as a married couple long before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, thus complicating the determination.
  • Also, if a couple lived outside of the state as a married couple, yet not legally married, that also affects the alimony calculation.

I commit to working through these and other issues with you, as thoroughly and with as much sensitivity as possible, to reach a fair divorce judgment.

Laws beyond the borders

Since not all states recognize same-sex marriage, not all states recognize divorce between same-sex couples. So if your ex-spouse moves to a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage and divorce, you may have trouble enforcing your divorce judgment. However, in states that do recognize same-sex marriage, a divorce judgment could be successfully enforced should your ex-spouse move there. Also, on a federal level, the DOMA does not recognize same-sex marriages or divorces, meaning that any federal enforcement of Massachusetts same-sex divorce judgments won’t be recognized countrywide.

Assisting you with same-sex divorce in Massachusetts

For an experienced divorce lawyer knowledgeable about the laws governing same-sex marriage and divorce, please contact me at Legasey & Associates for a consultation on this sensitive issue. Call me at 978-745-6600 or email me at My office is located conveniently in the heart of Salem, near the Peabody Essex Museum.

John Legasey is an AV rated attorney with more than 35 years of family law experience.