MA Office: 451 Andover Street, Suite 205, North Andover, MA 01845 NH Office: 35 East Pearl Street, Nashua, NH 03060

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North Andover Office: 978-655-4787 Nashua Office: 603-589-9629

North Andover, MA and Nashua, NH Attorneys Manage Same Sex Relationship Issues

In 2004 the state of Massachusetts legalized same sex marriage, and New Hampshire followed suit in 2010. Regardless of the gender make-up of a couple, issues of family law arise. Same sex couples have children, adopt and get divorced. While the issues are the same for traditional marriages, application of the laws to same sex marriages can be tricky. At the law offices of Meridith Gregory Gallant, LLC we manage family law cases for same sex marriages. We are able to interpret complex laws and apply them to our clients’ situations.

State and federal laws don’t always agree

While there are a number of states that have legalized same sex marriage, the federal government does not recognize these unions. As a result, many of the benefits and responsibilities afforded to different sex couples do not apply to same sex unions. These include federal taxes, Social Security, immigration and Veterans Administration benefits, just to name a few. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney before making decisions that can affect your future.

Children of same sex parents

There are a number of variables when same sex couples get married and have children:

  • If both of you were legal parents prior to the marriage, your parental status remains the same.
  • If only one of you is the legal parent, the other partner becomes a stepparent, unless he or she adopts the child. This adoption will be recognized in any state, independent of the marriage.
  • If one of you gives birth after you are married, you are both presumed legal parents and both of your names will be on the birth certificate.

While these laws are valid in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, they may not hold up in other states, and laws are overturned daily. To ensure your rights as a parent when you are not the biological parent, you must adopt the child. We handle second-parent adoptions with regularity. Our family law attorneys explain the legal issues in simple terms and protect your rights.


The first requirement for filing for divorce is that at least one of you must live in a state that recognizes your marriage. If the grounds for divorce occurred in Massachusetts, one spouse must reside there. If the grounds occurred outside of the state, one spouse must be a resident of Massachusetts for one year before filing for divorce there. In New Hampshire, both spouses must reside in the state at the time of the divorce or the plaintiff must live there when the defendant is served.

All divorces have the potential to get messy. The rules are more complicated for same sex marriages because not all the same laws apply. If you are looking to end your marriage, you need an experienced same sex relationship lawyer who knows how the laws pertain to your circumstances and can advise you on the best course of action to take.

Areas of Practice

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Our firm practices in Rockingham, North and South Hillsborough, and Merrimack Counties in New Hampshire as well as in Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk and Worcester Counties in Massachusetts. To speak with an attorney at the law offices of Meridith Gregory Gallant, LLC, contact the MA office at 978.655.4787 or the NH office at 603.589.9629. We offer free half-hour consultations to all prospective clients. We can be reached Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and after hours by appointment. You can also send us a message through our contact us page.

The Law Office of Meridith Gregory-Gallant, LLC is located in North Andover, MA and serves clients in and around North Andover, Middleton, Boxford, Andover, Lawrence, North Reading, Groveland, Georgetown, Methuen, Topsfield, Haverhill, Wilmington, Merrimac, Reading, Danvers, Essex County and Middlesex County.


Massachusetts Office:
451 Andover Street
Suite 205
North Andover, MA 01845
Phone: 978.655.4787
Fax: 978.824.2300
New Hampshire Office:
35 East Pearl Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Phone: 603.589.9629
Fax: 603.297.0888
Attorney Advertising. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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