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Family Law

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Same Sex Marriage

The United States issued a landmark opinion is Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015. The ruling provided same sex couples with the opportunity to marry in any state in the country, including Texas, which historically prohibited same sex marriage. Along with the equality that the ruling provided for same sex couples, came the obvious increase in same sex divorce throughout Texas and the many other states that previously disallowed same sex marriage. The right of same sex couples to marry also guarantees same sex couples the right to a divorce. Contact an experienced family law attorney if you are considering a divorce and want to ensure your assets are protected.

Obergefell Result in Texas

Prior to the Obergefell opinion, Texas prohibited same sex marriage and did not honor the benefits bestowed on same sex couples who were married in other states. However, once the decision was rendered, Texas county clerks began to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, ushering in a new era in the state. While the Obergefell ruling now allowed same sex couples to marry if they so choose, the ruling also verified that same sex couples will also unfortunately go through the same divorce process that heterosexual couples must undergo in the same circumstances.

Same Sex Divorce

Along with same sex marriage, the Supreme Court decision guaranteed the equitable division of property after a divorce from a same sex marriage. Prior to this point, the separation of a same sex couple did not involve obligations as to the division of assets or limited spousal maintenance requirements. However, Texas, as a community property state, offers some unique property division situations relating to the length of the marriage and the time period during which property was acquired. While the enactment of same sex marriage is a recent law, same sex couples who may have married outside the state could potentially contend that community property attached at the time of this marriage. An experienced family law attorney will be able to assist you in determining the proper way to divide all property of the marriage.

The length of the marriage will often make an impact on the amount of support either support is entitled to receive, as well as any decisions relating to child custody or child support. A court will often look to the best interest of a child in rendering an opinion relating to child custody, and will consider the relationship between both parties, often prior to marriage, as well as during and after the marriage.

Malley Law Firm | Houston Family Law Attorney

If you are going through the emotional process of a same sex divorce, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Malley Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience in assisting our clients with the divorce process, and will help ensure that you receive the settlements you deserve as a result of the marriage. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.


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