Dallas Same-Sex Divorce Attorneys
LGBT Divorce Laws in Texas
As of The Supreme Court's decision on June 26, 2015, gay marriage is legal nationwide. With such an important victory for the LGBT community also comes the burdens and difficulties that marriage has always come with. If you are in a same-sex marriage and are considering a divorce, then it is important to retain compassionate, vigilant representation from an experienced Dallas same-sex divorce attorney to protect your interests and see you through this difficult time.
O’Neil Wysocki P.C. was founded on the principle that everyone should have the support and counsel they need to navigate their family law issue to their best possible conclusion. Not only is our skilled team dedicated to advocating for all our clients, but founding attorney Michelle May O'Neil has been a vocal supporter and resource for same-sex legal issues here in Texas for some time.
You do not have to face this difficult time without counsel you can trust. Call us today.
The Basics of LGBT Divorce
Since same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the U.S., these couples now enjoy the same legal rights that traditional couples enjoy through marriage. These rights also extend to the matter of divorce. A Texas divorce dissolves your same-sex marriage and, along with this dissolution, handles all of the issues attendant upon that dissolution. Those issues include how you and your spouse’s community property and debt will be divided, whether spousal support will be granted and, if so, its amount and terms, and how child custody and visitation will be arranged. A divorce will also, for all couples regardless of sexual orientation, involve child support to be paid by a noncustodial parent where legal parenthood has been established.
These are important and vital issues to all parties to divorce and, depending on how emotionally charged the situation is, can become difficult and challenging. A good basic understanding of how divorce works in Texas can help to dispel an already uncertain situation for many people.
Looking for divorce help as an LGBT spouse? Contact O’Neil Wysocki P.C. at (972) 852-8000 or contact us online to arrange for a consultation today.
Understanding Texas Divorce Basics
The first thing to understand about divorce in Texas is that it does not have to depend on nor revolve around the idea of “fault.” You can file for divorce from your spouse if you believe that your relationship is broken and cannot be mended. Texas does provide “grounds” for divorce which can be used to file but you will be required to prove those grounds in court. That is a fault-based divorce based on proving such things as adultery, cruelty, abandonment, commitment to a mental hospital, felony conviction, or having lived separate and apart for three years. These fault-based divorce grounds may or may not give you an advantage in the matter of community property. No-fault divorces are generally the faster and easier route.
Even if you were married in another state, you can still get a divorce in Texas. You must first meet the residency requirement, however, which is a six-month requirement. Either you or your spouse will also have to have lived in the county where you file for the previous 90 days.
In the simplest divorces, you can complete the process in a matter of months. You only have to wait 60 days from your filing date for the divorce to be finalized. However, you will have to have come to an agreement with your spouse over the division of your community property and debts and child custody issues.
Child custody and visitation can be a complex issue for LGBT couples depending on the circumstances. If you and your spouse are both adoptive parents, then you are both legal parents. The court will have to approve the arrangements you and your spouse agree to or determine them. If one of you is a biological parent, you will generally retain custody of the child while the nonbiological parent may not. This area can have many wrinkles for LGBT couples as opposed to straight couples who share biological parenthood. For this reason, you should consult with a divorce lawyer who has experience handling custody issues for LGBT couples.
Finally, marital property and debts will be divided between you and your spouse on as equal a basis as possible through the community property rule. Marital property includes any assets or property acquired after the marriage took place. Separate property is that which you owned prior to the marriage or which you acquired as a gift or inheritance in your name only during the marriage. This issue can also be a complicated one when businesses, professional corporations, pensions, and other assets are involved. This issue commonly requires the representation of an attorney.
Comprehensive Scope of Divorce Experience
Our team has three board certified specialists that ensure that our services are thorough, dynamic, and vigilant on new local and federal laws. That means that every client that comes to us can rest assured that their rights and interests will be protected—no matter what their divorce may entail.
We are well-versed in handling matters of:
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Custody for same-sex parents
- Business owner divorce
- Asset & debt division
- High net worth divorce
No two marriages are the same, but no matter what concerns you have about your divorce, our team has the experience and resolve to assist you. We are prepared to address any complications, make your voice heard, and allow you to enter a new chapter of your life with confidence.
Make sure that your Dallas same-sex divorce lawyer is prepared to make your best interests a priority. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.