Last month, the Commonwealth's highest appellate court considered how legal parenthood is defined in the context of children born to a same-sex couple as a result of artificial insemination. The case, Partanen v. Gallagher, is currently under advisement by the Supreme Judicial Court. The Court's opinion could result in new parameters for what it means to be a parent in Massachusetts. At issue is the scope of the legal rights that an unmarried woman, who was previously in a relationship with the child's biological mother when the child was conceived using artificial insemination, enjoys after the relationship ends.
The cross-border enforcement of child support has long bedeviled parents and children who seek a delinquent parent's compliance with a court order. Given the many difficulties inherent to the enforcement of court orders in foreign jurisdictions, as well as the heavy costs associated with those efforts, many parents had a difficult time registering and enforcing child support orders if the debtor was in another country.
We've been asked the question "who gets the engagement ring?" by a number of clients whose engagements have been terminated prior to marriage. As so often is the case in family law, the answer to that question is "it depends."
Registering a child support order that was obtained in another state or even in another country is accomplished in Massachusetts by following the procedure outlined in M.G.L. c. 209D. Otherwise known as the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA"), this statutory scheme allows petitioners to register and enforce child support orders here in Massachusetts even though they were obtained in another state or country.