Knowledge is a powerful tool and knowing what to do and where to go is critical when one is faced with a life-changing event such as a separation and/or divorce; and for same-sex couples with children, the combination of state-by-state and federal laws pertaining to their relationships can add complexity.
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As Dallas Divorce Attorney Abby Gregory explains, “Prior to the SCOTUS ruling, same-sex marriage wasn’t recognized in Texas.
Consequently, same-sex divorce wasn’t recognized either. Now, regardless of where a same-sex couple married, they can get a divorce in the state of Texas.” While the same marital laws that apply to married heterosexual couples now apply to married same-sex couples, that doesn’t mean getting a divorce in Texas is a slam-dunk. Married same-sex couples are now afforded the same property rights as married heterosexual couples.
When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, many same-sex couples in Texas breathed a sigh of relief.
Some were excited they could legally tie the knot close to home, while others looked forward to a simplified divorce process.
Say you were ceremonially and legally married in Massachusetts, broke up three years ago but never divorced.
You are still legally married to your spouse, and everything you have accrued (assets, retirement accounts, debts, etc.) is still considered part of the marital estate – and will be – until your divorce is finalized. Establishing and dissolving a same-sex, common law marriage could get complicated.
As a Dallas family law attorney, Abby believes same-sex common law marriage will make a lot of headlines in the coming years.
“It is something I see evolving, especially in terms of how the court will set the marriage date and how far back they will go.
So if a couple held themselves out to be married back in 1975, proceeded to have a ceremonial marriage in 2015, then decides to divorce, will the court rule the marriage date is 1975 or 2015?