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Same-Sex Marriage Dissolution Comes to the Lone Star State

Posted on in Divorce

Texas complex litigation attorney, Texas same-sex marriage laws, Texas high-asset divorce lawyer, In July 2015, a Bexar County district judge gave the green light for a same-sex divorce to proceed through the system. The case has enormous implications for high asset divorce cases in Travis County and elsewhere in Central Texas.

The women legally married in Washington in 2010, and subsequently settled in the San Antonio area. One partner was artificially inseminated in February 2013, and the couple separated later that year. The child's non-biological mother had not been allowed visitation, until Judge Renée Yanta entered temporary orders in the divorce case. The woman's attorney applauded Judge Yanta for "follow[ing] the law," adding that "in San Antonio and Bexar County we take the lead on these issues."

In June 2015, just a few days before the United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was announced, the Texas Supreme Court allowed a Travis County same-sex divorce to stand, although that ruling came on a technicality.

Issues and Procedure in a Same-Sex Divorce

The points to be settled in a gay complex property litigation divorce are typically the same ones that arise in a traditional divorce, and the overarching principles are much the same as well.

  • Just and Right Division: Texas is a community property state, meaning that marital assets are divided without regard to legal title. The Texas Family Code requires the property division to be "just and right," which typically means that the divorce cannot be an undue financial burden for either party.
  • Best Interest of the Child: Custody, visitation, and support decisions must be based on the best interest of the children. In cases that involve complex child custody issues, a judge often appoints an attorney ad litem for the children and orders a social worker to evaluate the family and make recommendations.

One spouse must have resided in the state for at least six months, and in the county for 90 days. Furthermore, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period after the divorce is filed. A complex divorce case's trial may take place before a jury, although the vast majority of these matters are settled out of court.

Same-sex couples may now be eligible for a divorce in Texas. For a consultation with an aggressive Leander complex litigation divorce attorney, contact our office. Call the Law Offices of William D. Powers at 512-610-6199 today.

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759