For years, same-sex couples wanted the right to marry in Texas. As of June 26, 2015, they got their wish. What this means is that same-sex couples also have the right to divorce in Texas. But just because gay marriage is legal, doesn’t mean it’s any easier to stay together.
Same-sex couples are just as likely to divorce as heterosexual couples. Prior to 2015, LGBT couples didn’t have to worry about a legal divorce. If they broke up, they broke up. Now that so many LGBT couples are getting married, there will just that many more LGBT divorces in Texas.
This is why it’s important to understand how same sex divorce works in Texas. For the most part, it operates the same way as heterosexual divorces. However, there are some unique issues that LGBT couples will face should they choose to get divorced.
Your LGBT attorney in Houston can help answer any questions you may have about gay divorce in Texas. They can also help get the divorce process started if you’ve decided it’s time to call it quits.
LGBT Couples Have the Same Property Rights as Heterosexual Couples
Texas is a community property state. This means, if you and your spouse get divorced, you’ll have to divide all of your debts and assets. As a LGBT married couple, you enjoy the same protections as everyone else.
This could be good news or bad news. If you’re the main breadwinner in your family, you may not be happy to learn you have to split everything 50/50 with your spouse. On the other hand, this may be a relief to some.
In Texas, if you get divorced, you’ll have to split everything down the middle. This is true for both debts and assets. The following property will be divided in your LGBT divorce:
- Real property – this includes the marital home, rental properties, and vacation properties.
- Cash and liquid assets – Any cash, bank accounts, savings bonds and other investments acquired during the marriage will be divided equally.
- Personal Assets – Things like cars, jewelry and boats will also be divided in the divorce.
- Retirement Accounts – Any income that was divested into a retirement account will be subject to distribution in your divorce.
Keep in mind, if you and your spouse can’t agree on how to divide your property, the Court has a solution. Unless otherwise agreed, the Court will order that you sell all marital property. The proceeds will then be split between the two spouses.
This means, if you really want to hold on to some of your assets, you better be prepared to let your Houston LGBT divorce lawyer negotiate a division of your assets.
If You Have a Prenuptial Agreement, It Will Trump
If you have a prenuptial agreement, it will control. This is true even for out of state prenuptial agreements. Since same-sex marriage has only been legal in Texas for a few years, many couples got married out of state. They also had attorneys in other states draft prenuptials agreements for them.
Texas courts will honor and uphold any out of state prenuptial agreement. This means that, you may not enjoy (or be subjected to) the community property rights of Texas. If your agreement states otherwise, your Houston same-sex divorce lawyer will have to abide by your agreement.’
It May Be Hard to Pinpoint Your Date of Marriage
If you enjoyed a common law marriage, whether in Texas or out of state, it will be hard to determine and exact marriage date. Unless you have an actual wedding ceremony, it will be difficult to pin down an exact marriage date.
This can be important for property division. Since only assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution, the date of marriage is very important. Your LGBT attorney in Houston will fight to make sure the marital assets are divided fairly.
The other problem has to do with alimony. In order to be entitled to alimony, you have to be married for a certain number of years. If you can’t prove your date of marriage, you may lose your entitlement to alimony in Texas.
Contact a LGBT Attorney in Houston Today
If you’ve decided you’re ready to file for divorce, you need to contact a LGBT divorce attorney in Houston at Eddington & Worley today. Your attorney will do everything they can to protect you during your divorce. It’s important that you have an experienced lawyer by your side through this process.