Same-Sex Divorce Attorney in Austin
Caring & Compassionate Representation for LGBT Families
Same-sex marriage is now recognized in all 50 states – but just like any other marriage, same-sex marriages sometimes end in divorce. Because same-sex marriage is still relatively new, these divorce cases sometimes present uncharted issues. Child custody, child support, and asset division might present additional complexities that are not usual in heterosexual divorces.
At Hembree Bell Law Firm, PLLC, we help same-sex couples navigate the challenges of divorce. Whether we are mediating or litigating your case, our same-sex divorce attorney in Austin keeps your needs and goals in mind every step of the way.
Discuss your case with us today by calling (512) 768-9737. We serve clients throughout Travis County.
Common Law Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
A common law marriage is when two partners live together indefinitely and present their relationship as a marriage but never legally get married. This arrangement was quite common for LGBT couples until same-sex marriage was made legal.
A 2015 ruling in which a judge in Travis County recognized a common law marriage between two women – even though one spouse died in 2014 – reinforced that common law marriage applies to same-sex couples.
Even so, there are still complications. For example, it is not clear what should happen in a situation where an unmarried same-sex couple has been living together since before July 2015 as a married couple and now want to separate. This can even be more complicated if children and significant property are involved. You will need a diligent Austin same-sex divorce attorney to advocate on your behalf if this applies to your situation.
Filing for Divorce in Texas
Same-sex couples that were married in a different state before same-sex marriage was ruled legal in July 2015 can only file for divorce in Texas if they have lived in Texas for the previous 12 consecutive months. The earliest the divorce can be granted is 61 days after filing the divorce petition.
Parental Rights for Same-Sex Couples
If you and your partner adopted a child before same-sex marriage was legalized, only one of your names were included on the child’s birth certificate. The parent whose name was left off the birth certificate may face various complications in the event of divorce and a custody dispute.
Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Texas, any parent whose name is not on their adopted child’s birth certificate should formally adopt the child to protect their parental rights and ensure their child receives the benefits to which they are entitled.
Your Rights in a Same-Sex Marriage
In Texas, the partners in a same-sex marriage share the same rights that heterosexual couples have always had.
- Alimony or spousal maintenance rights
- Homestead rights
- Community property rights
- Certain reimbursement rights
As you navigate your divorce, Hembree Bell Law can ensure that these rights are not violated and that your divorce decree is fair. Our same-sex divorce lawyer in Austin understands the many challenges you may face along the way and is determined to help you resolve issues in a way that reflects your best interests.