LGBTQ Divorce

Before 2015, LGBTQ marriages in Texas were illegal, and they only became legal by default with a Supreme Court ruling. This means that LGBTQ divorces are fairly new to the scene and often require additional legal finesse.

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LGBTQ Divorce

Divorce is nothing if not complicated, but LGBTQ divorces tend to be that much more so. While it is difficult to believe, same-sex marriages were illegal in the State of Texas until 2015 – when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional in all 50 states. As such, many LGBTQ marriages in Texas are common law marriages – unless your marriage took place after this ruling or you made your marriage official after this ruling. LGBTQ marriages are just as susceptible to divorce as any others are, and if you are facing an LGBTQ divorce, don’t put off consulting with an experienced Austin divorce attorney.

Common Law Marriages

If you married in another state prior to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling, then moved to Texas as a married couple, your marriage is not recognized in the State of Texas except perhaps as a common law marriage. To establish a common law marriage, you must be able to clearly demonstrate all of the following:

  • That you and your common law spouse were both at least 18 years old when you entered into the common law marriage
  • That you and your common law spouse considered yourselves married to one another
  • That neither of you is formally (or informally) married to anyone else
  • That you and your common law spouse presented yourselves to the community as a married couple
  • That you lived together in Texas as a married couple

There are no specific laws on the books that address LGBTQ divorces, but because LGBTQ marriages are now legal in Texas, you are afforded the same rights as any other married couple is.

Your Divorce

Your divorce – like every other divorce – will focus on the same basic fundamentals, including:

  • The division of community property, which is that property that you acquired while married
  • Conservatorship, which refers to how you will each share your time with your shared children post-divorce
  • Child support, which is typically calculated according to state guidelines but can vary when extenuating circumstances are present
  • Spousal maintenance, which refers to payments made by one spouse to the other as a way of leveling a financial imbalance post-divorce

Ultimately, if you and your divorcing spouse can’t meet in the middle on each of these matters, the court will intervene on your behalf – and it always makes its decisions on a case-by-case basis.

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