The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.
- John Adams

The Issues

Alimony

The BBA is a strong supporter of alimony reform in Massachusetts which would result in reasonable and accessible spousal support guidelines. Our recommendations have influenced much of the substance and debate in this area, and the BBA continues to advocate for a framework that would increase predictability and consistency in alimony orders.

Child Support

The BBA endorses guidelines that promote predictability, fairness, and uniformity in orders of support for children and are workable for attorneys and pro se litigants alike. In January 2010, the BBA filed an amicus brief in Fathers & Families, Inc. v. Chief Justice for Administration and Management. In the brief, we argued that the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines are constitutional.

Marriage Equality

The BBA believes that civil marriage is a basic civil rights issue fundamental to the freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 14th amendment. In recent years, the BBA has taken other actions in support of same-sex marriage, including:

In 2002, we filed an independent amicus brief in support of same-sex couples seeking the right to marry in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health. In the brief, we argued that denying civil marriage licenses violated the Massachusetts Constitution.

In 2005, we drafted a brief supporting the position of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in Cote-Whiteacre v. Dept. of Pub Health. We argued that the 1913 statute, which prevents non-resident couples from marrying in Massachusetts if that marriage would be void in their home state, was unconstitutional.

See More of Our Work

For more information about our work in this area or to learn how to get involved, please email Kathleen Joyce, Director of Government Relations, at kjoyce@bostonbar.org.