When people hear about divorce, they often think of a heterosexual couple that can no longer sustain a compatible relationship. However, with the development of laws protecting and supporting members of the LGBTQ community in Texas, divorce can apply to any relationship where two people have made a legal commitment to each other.
Same-sex divorce creates unique complications that a heterosexual divorce may never encounter. Same-sex couples who know some of the issues they may face during divorce can better prepare to stand up for their rights and secure the best possible outcome.
Same-sex marriage and Texas law
For a very long time, the United States prohibited same-sex marriage. Even with trailblazers working tirelessly to change the law, same-sex marriage was only recently legalized in many states. According to the Texas State Law Library, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in the case of Obergefell vs. Hodges. Subsequently, in 2015 same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Texas.
The issue with timing
Even though two people of the same gender can now legally enter a marital relationship in Texas, less than a decade ago that was not an option. According to CNBC, this creates a real issue for same-sex couples seeking a divorce if their relationship began significantly before their marriage was legally recognized in 2015.
For example, if a same-sex couple met and started a relationship in 2011, but their relationship was not legally recognized until 2015, which date constitutes the start of their relationship? Because same-sex divorce is a relatively new legal topic, people should work with an experienced attorney who understands the rights of the LGBTQ community. This way they can protect their rights and have the best chance at securing what is most important to them in a divorce settlement.