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Proposed Massachusetts bill could ban sex during divorce

Proposed legislation in Massachusetts would ban parents of minor children who remain with them in the family home while going through the divorce process from dating or having sex in the home until the divorce is final, unless they have received permission from the court.

The bill was originally filed in 2013. Massachusetts Sen. Richard Ross (R) filed it at the urging of one of his constituents, Selectman Robert Leclair of Wrentham.

The Selectman is the former president of Fathers United for Equal Justice. According to a 2011 interview with Russia Today, Leclair believes that the bill would provide protection to children whose parents are divorcing.

The bill has until June 30 to be considered by the legislature. It would still require the Governor's signature before becoming law.

While Sen. Ross is the bill's sponsor, his staff went on record with Think Progress to say that the legislator does "not support it."

The proposed bill states:

"In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts."

As women are more likely to remain in the family home with their children pending resolution of the divorce and property settlement, this bill could be perceived as unfairly targeting mothers who wish to move on after a split with their spouse. It remains unclear from the bill's language exactly what would determine the definition of "dating . . . within the home."

While the likelihood of this bill becoming law is dubious, a Massachusetts divorce attorney can explain its ramifications on your personal circumstances in a divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Massachusetts Bill Could Ban Sex During Divorce" Emily Thomas, Mar. 24, 2014

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