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San Antonio Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer

Representing Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community

Following the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage was legalized in Texas. This decision granted LGBTQ+ couples the same legal rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. As a result, same-sex divorce refers to the legal process of dissolving a marriage between two individuals of the same gender. As in traditional divorces, issues such as asset division, child custody, and spousal support may arise.

Divorce proceedings, regardless of the genders involved, can be intricate and emotionally challenging. Adhering to legal processes and procedures is crucial to ensure that both parties' rights are upheld and the children's best interests are considered. Being well-versed in the relevant laws can help streamline the divorce process and lead to fair and equitable outcomes. Securing legal counsel with experience in same-sex divorce in San Antonio can provide valuable insights and guidance, alleviating stress and promoting a smoother transition through this significant life change.

At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC, we are committed to offering personalized legal representation to individuals within the LGBTQ+ community who are navigating divorce proceedings. With a deep understanding of same-sex divorce complexities, our team provides insightful counsel to help clients confidently move forward. We recognize the unique challenges that can arise during these times and are dedicated to safeguarding our clients' rights and interests.

We aim to provide the compassionate support needed to seek fair outcomes during this pivotal period. Schedule a consultation by contacting our San Antonio same-sex divorce attorney at (210) 702-2203.

Legal Considerations in Same-Sex/LGBTQIA+ Divorce

As in heterosexual divorces, same-sex couples must adhere to specific legal procedures. One essential requirement is meeting the residency criteria before initiating the divorce process. This mandates that one or both spouses have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce. Additionally, they should have resided in the county where they intend to file for at least 90 days. These prerequisites establish a jurisdictional basis for the divorce proceedings.

Recognition of Out-of-State Marriages

The passage of the Respect for Marriage Act in December 2022 marked a significant development in the recognition of same-sex marriages across the United States. This legislation mandates that all states must acknowledge same-sex marriages conducted in other states. 

Even with this recognition, it's important to note that should a same-sex couple seek a divorce in Texas, they still need to fulfill the state's residency requirements. Regardless of where the marriage initially occurred, individuals wishing to dissolve their marriage in Texas must meet the aforementioned six-month state residency and 90-day county residency prerequisites.

Matters to Be Settled in Same-Sex Divorce

In same-sex divorces, a multitude of issues require resolution, with some requiring special consideration.

Some of the matters that need to be addressed include the following:

  • Division of assets and property: One critical aspect is the division of assets and property acquired throughout the marriage. This process follows equitable distribution principles, ensuring a fair split of property obtained during the union. Notably, property categorized as separate—like gifts or inheritances—remains untouched in the division, even if received while married.
  • Child custody and support: Addressing child custody and support is crucial in same-sex divorces. In female same-sex marriages, if one spouse became pregnant or gave birth during the marriage, establishing parentage might be necessary before concluding the divorce. Custody arrangements hinge on the child's best interests, with factors such as stability and care considered. Child support calculations adhere to state guidelines, typically involving payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The amount is based on a percentage of the non-custodial parent's net income and the number of supported children.
  • Spousal maintenance: Eligibility for spousal support, known as maintenance, is vital. Specific requirements must be met to seek such support. Factors influencing alimony decisions include the requesting spouse's inability to financially support themselves and a marriage duration of at least ten years. These elements are vital in determining whether and how much spousal support may be awarded.
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