On behalf of The Law Offices of Mary Ann Beaty, PC posted in Divorce on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

When couples in Texas decide to get married, serious decisions are involved. The same serious and often complex thought process is included in the divorce process. No matter the length of the marriage or where the couple was originally married, a couple’s divorce in Texas is defined by the laws of Texas if that is where they reside when they file for dissolution. For same-sex partners, this is not so easily accomplished. A same-sex divorce in Texas brings several divorce issues to the table.

As of now, Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage, thus making it difficult and essentially impossible for a same-sex couple to divorce in Texas. This causes those couples residing in Texas to either return to the state they were married in or a state that recognizes their union in order to file and complete their divorce. This makes for a huge inconvenience and creates an issue regarding equal protection.

A U.S. District Judge in Texas is expected to make a decision soon regarding whether to temporarily block the ban on same-sex marriage. Voters approved this ban back in 2005. If the ban is blocked, then a case brought by same-sex couples can be held. This will be the first case of its kind filed in Texas. Although similar cases have been filed in 22 other states, this is creating attention for Texas because it is such a deeply conservative state.

Although the Republican running for governor in Texas opposes the legalization of same-sex marriages, civil rights groups have been successful in other states that took a stance in opposition. In addition, new federal policies that have been recently instituted have provided benefits to same-sex couples, such as being able to file joint taxes in any state. Even though such rights have been provided, the ability to divorce is still a challenge for same-sex couples.

Complex divorce issues can present themselves in any divorce. For a same-sex divorce, the problems could be vastly more challenging due to state laws. Those going through these struggles should understand their situation and the available options. This will help protect their interests and rights.

Source: CBS News, “Texas judge to rule on same-sex marriage ban,” Feb. 12, 2014