Many readers in Texas have been keeping a close eye on the Supreme Court recently, waiting for a ruling on cases that would impact same-sex marriage. Those long-awaited rulings finally came this week. While the rulings far from settle the issue, they could give clarity — somewhat ironically — to same-sex couples who legally marry and then go through a divorce.
Unfortunately, for those couples, the process did not get any easier, though it could down the road. One thing the court’s ruling did not do was to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country. Instead, while the federal government will grant the same tax and other benefits to same-sex couples who are married, it is still up to the states to grant the marriages.
One state that currently does not grant same-sex marriages is Texas. That seems unlikely to change in the near future, given the political climate. However, that has not stopped many Texas couples from going to other states to get married and then returning to Texas; additionally, many same-sex couples moved to Texas after they had been married for some time.
What those couples may need to do, should they one day decide to get a divorce, is go to a state that permits same-sex marriage in order to do so. This could be complicated, depending on residency requirements. An experienced family law attorney can give advice to people, regardless of gender, who are considering a divorce to help them realize the scope of what they are wishing to undertake.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Supreme Court simplifies gay divorce,” Quentin Fottrell, June 26, 2013