Marital disputes are as common in same sex marriages as they are in heterosexual marriages. Sometimes, these disputes cannot be resolved through other means and a divorce might be the only option left for the couples.
So, how do you get a same sex divorce in TX? Let us take a look.
Same Sex Divorce in Texas – The Basics
Under Texas law, there are no specific provisions available for same sex couples. What it means is that they enjoy the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts when it comes to marriage and divorce.
The eligibility criteria for same sex divorce in TX include:
- You or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to the date of filing for divorce.
- You must have lived in the county in which you are filing the divorce petition for at least 90 days. In case your spouse is the one who is filing the petition, the same rule applies to them as well.
Grounds for Same Sex Divorce in TX
Same sex couples in Texas have the option to file for a no-fault divorce or a fault divorce. You can seek a fault divorce from your spouse for the following reasons:
- Living apart
- Felony conviction
- Commitment to a mental asylum
As is the case with heterosexual divorce, there is a mandatory 60-day waiting period involved in same sex divorce as well.
There are, however, a couple of challenges that same sex couples might face while filing for divorce in Texas, which their heterosexual counterparts might not face. These issues are mainly related to property division and child custody.
Property Division in Same Sex Divorce in TX
Under Texas law, any property acquired by either of the spouses after marriage is considered community property, which is to be divided between themselves in an equitable manner in the event of a divorce.
This is not a problem if can clearly establish the date on which you got married. In case you have been cohabitating without officially getting married, it might be difficult to establish the date of marriage. As a result, it might be hard to determine what is community property (belongs to both of you) and what is separate property (belongs to you or your spouse).
Child Custody in Same Sex Divorce
If one of you happens to be the biological parent of your child (conceived through assisted reproductive technology), the other parent needs to formally adopt the child in order to be able to seek custody or visitation rights in the event of a divorce.
Similarly, if one of you formally adopted a child, your name will be on the child’s birth certificate. In the event of a divorce, the other parent might find it difficult to seek custody or visitation rights since their name does not appear on the certificate. So, they must formally adopt the child in order to have equal rights as a parent.
Seeking Same Sex Divorce in Texas? Eric M. Willie Can Help.
Same sex divorce in TX can be more complicated than heterosexual divorce, due to the lack of specific provisions in Texas civil code. Since same-sex divorces are handled on a case-by-case basis, it’s crucial for you to be represented by an experienced attorney who has well-versed with the state’s divorce laws and ensure that your rights are not violated due to your sexual orientation.
Eric M. Willie is one of the most accomplished and experienced divorce attorneys in Texas. He leads a team of highly skilled lawyers who have represented scores of Texas residents – including same sex couples – in divorce cases as well as other family law-related cases.