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Texas Supreme Court Mulls Over Same Sex Divorce Appeal

Posted by Chris Peterson | Feb 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

Texas Supreme Court Mulls Over Same Sex Divorce Appeal

Are gay divorces legal in TX?Last November, the Texas Supreme Court heard arguments from the Attorney General's office and two gay couples about whether gay couples have the right to get divorced in Texas, despite Texas's ban on same sex marriage.

Two gay couples got married, moved to Texas and got divorced

Two women, Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly, tied the knot in Massachusetts in 2004 before moving to Austin, Texas. Some years later, their relationship reached a breaking point and they sought a contested divorce from the Travis County family court.

The other couple involved in the appeal are known as J.B. and H.B. in court filings.  These men similarly got married in another state before they moved to Texas. When their marriage went south, they sought a no-fault divorce from a Texas court.

The Texas Attorney General Intervened

One interesting facet of the appellate case is that none of the parties to the divorces raised the appeal. Instead, the Texas Attorney General intervened and asked the appellate courts to render the same sex divorce judgments void. The AG argued, essentially, that recognizing a marriage is an indispensable prerequisite to dissolving a marriage and because Texas has banned same sex marriages, it cannot grant same sex divorces.

Whether you agree with same sex marriage or not, the argument raises a good question — one which is bound to be raised to appellate courts in other states which share a similar stance on gay marriage.  Can a gay couple who legally got married in another state get divorced in a state which does not allow same sex marriage?

Waiting to see what happens

The Texas Supreme Court does not have a deadline within which to make its decision, but nearly four months have passed since oral arguments were heard on November 5, 2013. We will keep an eye on this issue to see how the high court rules and whether the parties take further action.

The attorneys at Peterson Law Group have significant experience handling divorces, child custody and support modifications, and other family law disputes. Our experienced Conroe, Texas divorce attorneys are here to protect your rights and interests in every case. Call us at 936-337-4681 or 979-703-7014 to arrange a consultation.

About the Author

Chris Peterson

Chris Peterson is the owner of Peterson Law Group. He practices primarily in the areas of wills, trusts and estate planning; probate and trust administration; elder law; and business law. Chris is also the owner of Brazos 1031 Exchange Company.


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