Massachusetts State House.
Policy Library

Legislative Update

March 12, 2020

A key legislative committee deadline, known as Joint Rule 10 Day, has passed, and while some of our priority legislation—most notably, uniform laws on access to digital assets and on trust decanting—have been sidelined for the year, other bills received favorable committee reports and are now one step closer to reaching the floor for a vote, including the following three bills of great interest to our Family Law section:

  • A bill to finally make Massachusetts the 50th state to join an interstate compact on jurisdiction over child-custody orders, known by the acronym UCCJEA, by which all other states honor one another’s pre-existing custody orders, even when one of the parties moves across state borders.
  • Legislation to fix a flaw in the statutory guideline for calculation of general alimony awards. This resulted from a change to the federal tax code that renders alimony non-deductible by the payor.
  • A bill to streamline the process of co-parent adoption in cases involving assisted reproduction. This will ensure greater clarity, efficiency, and consistency in the adoption process and will especially benefit LGBTQ couples.

We will continue to advocate for each of these as we approach the formal deadline of July 31 for the current legislative session.

—Michael Avitzur
Government Relations Director
Boston Bar Association