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Questions same-sex couples should ask before divorcing

Every couple who gets married in Texas intends to make a commitment that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, circumstances often arise that make the relationship untenable. Same-sex couples are no more immune to these forces than heterosexual couples, and divorce is no easier to contemplate for same-sex couples than their traditionally married heterosexual counterparts. As a matter of fact, at Laura Dale & Associates we have observed that divorce can actually be more difficult for same-sex couples because of unique legal circumstances that apply. 

An understanding of how the current laws may apply to your situation may help to make the process easier. Forbes Magazine identifies important questions for you to ask as you and your spouse contemplate divorce. 

When did your marriage begin?

If you lived together before the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality, you may have met requirements for a common-law marriage. If this is the case, your marriage may actually have begun before the date of your wedding. It is important to establish this clearly before divorce negotiations begin to ensure a fair settlement.

What is the legal relationship between each spouse and the children? 

If you and your spouse do not have children, obviously this question does not apply to your situation. However, if you are not the biological parent of your children but your spouse is, it could cause problems for you when it comes to seeking custody unless you have already legally adopted the children. 

Will either you or your spouse seek alimony?

You may think that making alimony determinations is a simple matter of calculating which spouse makes more money, but that is not necessarily true. Crucial to the determination of the amount and duration of alimony payments is the length of the marriage, which is one reason why it is so important to determine whether you qualified for a common-law marriage before the Obergefell decision took effect. 

Divorce is painful for everyone, but understanding your unique situation in the context of the law is necessary to the process. More information about same-sex divorce is available on our website. 

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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
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Houston, TX 77056

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