When it comes to getting divorced, it’s never an easy time. The financial, emotional and familial burdens are no different if you’re in a same-sex marriage and have separated from your partner. There’s a lot of upheaval.
Since 2015, Texas has recognized the legality of same-sex marriage and by default, therefore, same-sex divorce. The process in itself is much the same as any other divorce but there are a few things the parties should be aware of.
Married same-sex and heterosexual couples have the same rights
When it comes to same-sex divorce, the court process is nothing to be intimidated by. You have the same rights as any other couple.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is that the court is still taking things on a case-by-case basis in same-sex divorces due to the relative infancy of the laws around same-sex marriages in the state. This means that the law will evolve as the courts see more same-sex divorces coming through the court system. Where a divorce is straightforward, you’re unlikely to run into any difficulties.
The process for getting a same-sex divorce
To be eligible for a divorce, at least one of the parties needs to have been residing in the state for the last 6 months. Additionally, one party needs to have been living in the county they’re filing in for the last 90 days.
The main decision when it comes to filing is whether you opt for a fault or a no-fault divorce. Each one has its benefits and downsides. People often tend to file for a no-fault divorce where the relationship has irrevocably broken down because the process is quicker and less contentious.
In certain circumstances, a fault divorce may be more appropriate. For example, if one party is claiming fraud, abuse or imprisonment of the other party, it can affect how property is divided and also removes the requirement of needing to be separated for a period of time before filing for divorce.
In simple scenarios, a divorce can be completed in a matter of months whereas when there are child custody arrangements, financial agreements and property to be valued and divided, the process can take a lot longer.
As with any divorce, seeking legal support as early as possible helps you to make sure your legal rights in your same-sex divorce are protected.