Burns & Levinson’s private client group has a unique history of addressing the legal needs of the LGBT community. Whether our clients marry or define their own relationships, we provide counsel on the implications of sharing finances, owning assets jointly and having joint child custody. Peers, colleagues, judges and politicians throughout the state hold our team in high regard for the ability to prepare innovative and sound estate plans, custody agreements, pre-marital agreements as well as partnership/cohabitation contracts that protect business assets, real estate and personal assets. Sometimes a relationship is dissolved by death, divorce or other legal proceedings, and clients come to us for help navigating the intricate state and federal laws.
Massachusetts’ Goodridge case determined that same-sex spouses, living within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, are entitled to the same probate, divorce, custody, and estate planning protections as other married spouses. Then the 2015 Windsor case overturned Article 3 of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to give federal recognition to marriages in states where same-sex marriage is recognized. However, Article 2 of DOMA still permits non-recognition states to define “marriage” as a “legal union between one man and one woman.”
Serving the LGBT community requires attorneys with special experience, skill and legal knowledge. We have mapped the legal perils and pitfalls created by the ongoing remnants of DOMA at Article 2, and we can protect our clients’ rights here and across state lines whenever they are challenged or abridged.
No matter what divorce, custody, family law, probate law or real estate challenge you are facing, let us put our understanding, intuitive and prepared team to work for you.