Same-sex couples have been able to get married and divorced here in Texas for a couple of years now. However, such couples can still encounter unique challenges when navigating family law issues. For example, challenging issues regarding financial matters can come up during same-sex divorces.
One reason for this is that one of the factors that can play a role in a court’s decisions regarding divorce financial matters such as property division and spousal maintenance is how long a couple have been married.
Now, for Texas same-sex couples, how long they have been legally married may not accurately represent how long they have lived together in a close relationship. This is because, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide a couple of years ago, getting married in Texas was not an option for such couples. So, some such couples may have been together for a long time before a legal marriage was even a legal possibility in the state. This can raise some challenging questions regarding what the fairest thing to do would be in divorce financial issues in which length of the marriage could be a factor.
This particular challenge related to same-sex divorces is something couples from many different states can face. Courts in different states have taken different approaches to the issue of marriage length in same-sex divorce. And of course, there is the possibility of these approaches shifting over time. These things can create uncertainty when it comes to financial issues in same-sex divorces. Uncertainty can be a scary thing when in divorce proceedings.
There are a range of ways individuals who are seeking a same-sex divorce here in Texas could try to address the unique challenges and uncertainties connected to financial matters in their divorce. How well-suited the routes they end up picking are to their goals and situation can be very impactful. So, when deciding how to navigate such issues, having the guidance of an experienced Board-Certified expert Family Law attorney knowledgeable of the unique aspects of same-sex divorces can be highly important.
Source: CNBC, “Same-sex divorce poses complications for some splitting couples,” Sarah O’Brien, Nov. 10, 2017