In Texas, as in many other states, same sex marriage and divorce is very much a moving target. Things change almost daily. We’ve had several cases in Texas that have gotten national recognition.
After the recent Supreme Court ruling, same sex marriage in Texas is legal.
That also makes same sex divorces legal.
Many of the same sex couples that I have worked with in the past have chosen to do partition suits for their property, and then do a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR) with regard to their children. So it’s essentially two separate suits, which ironically is the same thing that happens in a divorce. We have the suit for the dissolution of a marriage and we have a SAPCR, or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.
In the divorce of a married couple with children, those two causes of action are combined into one lawsuit by – under Texas law. With a same sex couple, if we do a partition suit and we do a SAPCR there are actually two separate suits.
A lot of people that I have worked with have chosen to do a collaborative case and it’s kept private and we work out the nuances of how they’re going to divide their property and how the children are going to share time with their parents and how we’re going to provide for their needs in a private manner, but not always. A lot of cases will go to mediation.
The bottom line is that this area is changing and it’s my personal belief that in all likelihood same sex couples that are married will be treated the same the same as heterosexual couples that are married in the future. I don’t know if that will be in 2015, I don’t know if that will be three years from now, but the writing does seem to be on the wall and this area of law is changing.
If you are find that you need to end a same sex relationship, schedule some time to speak with me so that we can discuss your options.