Marriage between same-sex partners is legal in all 50 states. With marriage sometimes comes divorce, which raises child custody issues, and, possibly, a lot of drama.
Are the rules of the game the same for same-sex couples during a divorce?
I'm Lawyer Alexandria Serra, this is Lawyer Talk Thursday (catch it every week on Instagram @alexandriaserra), and you're about to find out.
Marriages, is there a difference?: Same-Sex v. Opposite Sex
The top two things that you should know are:
1. The family code applies in the same way whether you are in a same-sex or opposite sex
2. There are still some attorneys in El Paso who won’t take same-sex couple cases. I find this
appalling, and I’ll list some awesome allied family law attorneys, in case you need one.
Just know that our community has some good cookies! If you need an L.G.B.T.Q.+ friendly lawyer check out:
@noralove (LGBTQIA+ Family Law) @lovettlawfirm_official
Other L.G.B.T.Q.+ Lawyers: Divorce: @epdivorceattorney Immigration: @cynthia.r.l
Know of any others? Message me their IG handle!
When getting a divorce, you’ll have to sort through the legal issues surrounding both property and kids. A divorce can be contested or uncontested. Let’s take a look at the two types!
A divorce is uncontested when you either: both agree on the division of property and custody or one party doesn’t show up to a hearing.
Contested divorces can be more difficult to handle alone so, be sure to talk to a badass L.G.B.T.Q.+ lawyer before filing any forms with the court. Lawyer up, it’s always best!
How can you file for divorce?
You can file for divorce in Texas if you or your spouse has lived in Texas for six months. One of you also has to live in the county where you want to file for divorce for at least 90 days.
If you marry someone in another state or country, the marriage is also valid in Texas. Military folks, this one's for you! You don’t have to get divorced in the same state where you married.
Since the family code applies the same way, regardless of gender, “common law marriage” law applies to same-sex couples.
Married through Common Law?
A common law spouse has two years after the end of the relationship to assert his/her rights. After two years, the law treats it as if your marriage never existed! Common law marriage requires four things:
1. You can’t be legally married to anyone else;
2. You and your partner must be over 18;
3. You agreed to be married; and
4. Afterward, you held yourself out to be married while living in Texas.
Stay tuned for next week’s discussion about children in same-sex partnerships!
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.