Same-sex couples in Texas are filing for divorce since the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can legally marry in all 50 states. That ruling, however, doesn’t make quick work of certain aspects of same-sex divorce for those in Texas. One of the issues that is likely to plague same-sex couples who are seeking a divorce is property division.
It is anticipated that some divorces will be simple because there won’t be a lot of community property to divide. The issue is going to come in when the couple has considerable property or property that has differing classifications. This would be the case if there is both separate property and community property that has to be divided. This is because simply trying to divide the property based on the date of the marriage might prove to be simplistic.
Some same-sex couples who were never legally married might think they qualify for a common-law marriage. That, however, wouldn’t be the case unless the couple represented themselves as a married couple. Some couples never represented themselves as a married couple because same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in Texas. That means they wouldn’t be eligible for a same-sex divorce based on a common-law marriage.
The issue of same-sex divorce is one that is new to Texas. This means that a lot of questions haven’t been answered and that the laws and guidelines will likely change as time progresses. Those who are in a same-sex marriage should work to understand how the law will be applied to their case if they opt to seek a divorce.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Same-sex divorce filings follow historic U.S. marriage ruling,” Carol Christian, July 01, 2015