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Deciding spousal support in same-sex divorces

One of the many questions in any divorce is the determination of spousal support. This question is particularly complicated in same-sex divorces, as there are no specific laws or precedents to rely on. 

Here we’ll look at some of the factors that a judge may consider when awarding spousal support in a same-sex divorce.

Obergefell vs. Hodges can be an important issue

Same-sex marriages became legal in Texas in 2015 after a landmark U. S. Supreme Court ruling that stated the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution requires all states to recognize and license same-sex marriages.

Many gay and lesbian couples, who up until that point were living together, took the opportunity to make their union official. Unfortunately, their years together before they were married have made some same-sex divorces contentious.

Why is that? 

During a divorce, the judge divides assets based on what was acquired during the marriage. That means they consider anything purchased before the marriage to be separate property, and therefore, they don’t include it when considering the division of property. 

However, it doesn’t seem particularly fair to dependant spouses who were with their partners years before the law made a legal marriage possible.

Another issue to consider is Texas’s requirements when it comes to alimony, also known as spousal maintenance. In Texas, a couple has to have been married for at least ten years, and the spouse seeking maintenance cannot support themselves. The exception to this rule is if the one spouse has a conviction of domestic abuse within two years of the divorce filing.

Same-sex divorces are complex, and deciding on spousal maintenance can become contentious. You will want to find help from someone who understands both high-asset divorces and LGBT issues and can guide you through this difficult time.