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How are same-sex divorces different from other divorces in Texas?

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Same Sex Family Law Issues |

Navigating the maze of divorce can be emotionally taxing and legally challenging regardless of the nature of the marriage. However, when it comes to same-sex divorces, a distinct set of challenges emerges.

To fully grasp the complexities of this process, you need to understand how and why same-sex divorces stand apart from their counterparts.

Impact of the historical context

The legal recognition of same-sex marriages in Texas began in 2015. This recent change means that many couples lived together for years without the legal protections and recognition of marriage. This can affect factors like property division and spousal support. Same-sex couples might find that only a portion of their time together counts as “married years” in the eyes of the court.

Issues with child custody and adoption

Children are often at the heart of divorce proceedings. In same-sex divorces, child custody can become more complicated. Prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, one partner might have legally adopted a child without the other partner having any legal rights. In such cases, it can be challenging to determine custody and visitation rights since only one parent has legal ties to the child.

Division of assets

Because many same-sex couples lived together long before their marriage received legal recognition, there may be complexities when dividing assets. For instance, a couple might have bought a house together 20 years ago, but only have been legally married for six years. These gray areas require careful navigation.

Recognition of out-of-state marriages

Some same-sex couples might have married in another state before Texas recognized their union, but the date of the marriage in the other state is valid. They need to reside in Texas for six months or more before filing for divorce here.

While every divorce has its intricacies, same-sex divorces in Texas come with their own set of unique challenges. Understanding these differences helps you approach the process with clarity and ensures that you take all necessary steps to protect your rights and interests.