Prior to this year’s U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision, same-sex couples in long-term relationships here in Texas faced a lot of uncertainty if they decided to split. One reason for this is that they did not have access to the divorce process in the state. One thing that could help a same-sex-couple with addressing such unpredictability was advanced legal planning for the possibility of a split.
The same-sex marriage decision has changed the legal landscape quite a bit for Texas same-sex couples. Now, Texas same-sex couples that have gotten married generally have access to the divorce process in the state if they decide to split. However, this does not mean all unpredictability has disappeared when it comes the ending of a long-term same-sex relationship.
For one, given that same-sex marriage and same-sex divorce are still very new things here in Texas, there are still many special issues that could potentially arise regarding same-sex divorces in the state, such as special issues regarding child custody and property division. How Texas courts will address such special issues remains to be seen, and the law regarding same-sex divorce could take some time to get into a well-developed state here in Texas. This could add some unpredictability to the divorce process for same-sex partners in the near-future.
Also, divorces can have unpredictability connected to them under any circumstances, even when the laws regarding divorce issues are well-developed.
So, the same-sex marriage decision has not eliminated the importance of planning for the possibility of a break up for long-term same-sex couples. Such planning could include using pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements. Family law attorneys can help individuals in same-sex relationships with looking into whether a pre-nuptial/post-nuptial agreement would be appropriate for their circumstances and with the drafting of these kinds of agreements. Such attorneys can also help individuals who are in same-sex marriages who are thinking of divorce with divorce preparations.
Source: Money, “Start Preparing for Same-Sex Divorce,” Lili A. Vasileff, August 27, 2015