Austin is widely known as one of the most inclusive and LGBT-friendly cities in the country. Apart from the vibrant nightlife and dating scene, what makes Austin one of the most welcoming places for LGBT people is its legal system, which is fair towards all and discriminatory towards none.
Same sex couples in Austin have the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage, adoption, divorce, spousal and child support, child custody, and property division. Here are some key facts you should know about same sex marriage and same sex divorce Austin.
Same Sex Marriage in Austin
If you want to marry your same-sex partner in Austin, you can do so formally or under common law, depending on your preference. If you want a common law marriage, you must meet the following criteria.
- You must live with your spouse in the same household.
- You must agree to be married to each other.
- You must present yourselves as a married couple to others.
It should be noted that the right to marriage afforded by the US Supreme Court to same sex couples can be applied retroactively. So, even if you were married under common law prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015, it can be legally recognized.
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This is an important point, as it pertains to same sex divorce Austin issues like division of assets, which is what we discuss in the next section.
What Constitutes Community Property in Austin?
Any property that you acquire after your marriage is considered community property. The same rule applies to your spouse as well. There are only two exceptions to this rule, which include:
- Properties that you or your spouse acquired prior to the marriage are considered separate properties – belonging to you or your spouse.
- Inheritances and gifts that you or your spouse inherited during the course of your marriage are considered separate properties as well.
This is why establishing the date of marriage – in case you married under common law – becomes important in same sex divorce Austin. If you are unable to do so, you might not receive your fair share of the marital property.
If one of you happens to be the biological parent of your child, the other parent must legally adopt the child so that they can seek child custody or visitation rights in the event of a divorce.
If one of you adopted a child prior to your marriage, the other parent must legally adopt the child to be able to seek custody or visitation rights at the time of same sex divorce Austin.
Spousal Support and Child Support
If you were married to your same-sex partner for 10 years or longer, and if you were financially dependent on them during the course of your marriage, you can seek spousal support from them.
Similarly, if you are the custodial parent, you can seek child support from your same-sex partner as well.
Same Sex Divorce Austin – Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
Same sex divorces, by their very nature, are more complex than heterosexual divorces. However, with the help of an experienced same-sex divorce lawyer, you can achieve the desired results in your divorce case.
The Law Office of Willie & Dasher is committed to helping Austin residents – including and especially same-sex couples – with their divorce as well as post-divorce issues. Led by Eric M. Willie, who is considered one of the best divorce attorneys in Texas, the lawyers at Willie & Dasher have represented scores of Austin residents in family law-related cases and have delivered spectacular results over the years.
If you are planning to file for same sex divorce Austin, Eric M. Willie can provide aggressive legal representation and fight hard to achieve the desired outcome in your case. To find out how Eric M. Willie can help you, call our firm today at 512-478-0834 or fill out this contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys.