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Texas Supreme Court considers same-sex divorce

When a married couple seeks to dissolve their marriage, the divorce laws provide each party with certain rights. Achieving a divorce decree may take some time, but once all the important issues are addressed including property division, child custody and support payments, the divorce can be finalized and the newly separated couple can move on.

Being able to get a divorce and move on may not be as easy for all couples, especially same-sex couples. While a number of states have passed laws recognizing gay marriage, many states, including Texas, have not. When a gay couple legally married in another state moves to Texas and then seeks to get a divorce, the issue arises whether Texas will grant them a divorce. The Texas Supreme Court is currently deciding how to handle this issue and if they will allow legal divorces for same-sex couples.

Currently, the court is handling two cases involving same-sex couples who are seeking to divorce. Those who argue the state should grant divorces for gay couples married in other states say that Texas is bound by the U.S. Constitution to give full faith and credit to the laws of other states. The Texas Attorney General, on the other hand, argues that Texas law prohibits the state from validating a gay marriage legally entered into in another state, and that granting a gay divorce constitute such validation.

Gay couples seeking a divorce agreement should follow these two cases closely. They should also seek independent guidance about their legal options. Even if it means establishing residency in another state in order to divorce, it is important that they understand what steps they need to take.

Source: Advocate, "Texas Supreme Court to Consider Gay Divorce," Sunnivie Brydum, Aug. 26, 2013