Skip to main content

Same sex divorce in Texas?

In the last couple of months, I have seen an increase in my practice of same sex couples inquiring about gay divorce here in Texas as a direct result of the ruling by Dallas Judge Tena Callahan that a gay male couple who had filed for divorce would get their divorce — AND that the Texas (gay) marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The Dallas couple were legally married while living in Massachusetts and filed for divorce in Texas a year ago. This is a landmark decision because Texas "does not recognize" same sex marriage and in fact actually passed an amendment to the Texas constitution to ban gay marriage. Judge Callahan's decision "to end the marriage" has drawn fire from the Texas Attorney General and Governor Perry who would both like to make the issue about "marriage". It's not about "marriage", it's about divorce, the end of a marriage. This is an issue that must be addressed and decided as more and more states begin recognizing same sex marriage. Why? Because this is a transient society in which more and more legally married same sex couples are relocating to states that do not recognize their marriage. The legal question becomes how does one get a divorce when jurisdiction of that divorce is based on your residency? Here in Texas, you must be a resident of Texas for six months and resident of the county you're filing in for 90 days. It doesn't matter WHAT STATE you were married in.

The Attorney General argued that the Dallas couple should not have filed in Texas. If they hadn't filed in Texas, one of them would have had to move BACK to Massachusetts or another state that recognizes same sex marriage, acquire residency based on that state's divorce laws, and then file for divorce. Most would agree that's a ridiculous course of action and it's just not practical. It presents a whole host of jurisdictional and property issues. Community property v. separate property. Which spouse is going to move to Massachusetts? And, to do nothing would mean that neither spouse could remarry until the divorce was granted somewhere.

Stay tuned because this case is far from over. The AG is appealing and more couples will be filing. Read more.

Popular posts from this blog

Texas State Affairs Committee hears testimony on two adoption bills

On March 27, 2017, Ms. Cochran-Green testified before the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee on two adoption-related bills, SB 329 and
SB 1362.  You can watch the live testimony here. Ms. Cochran-Green's testimony is the Part 1 of the State Affairs Meeting on March 27.  Her testimony is in the second hour and she testified separately on each bill.

SB1362 is authored by Sen. Campbell in which she proposes to changes to the voluntary adoption registry.  Ms. Cochran-Green testified her opposition to the bill because much of the proposed bill is already codified in the Texas Family Code and is common practice among adoption agencies.

SB329 is authored by Senator Creighton in which he proposes to allow adult adopted persons to obtain their original birth certificates at the age of 18.  Ms. Cochran-Green supports this bill as it allows adopted persons in closed adoptions primarily from the 1930s-1990s to seek reunions with their birth parents and obtain medical history that is neede…

Mother's Day: A Time for Reflection and Celebration

This is the time of year that we celebrate motherhood, not only the day-to-day life of being a mom, but also the journey itself.  For some, infertility challenges that journey.  Thankfully there are more options than ever for those who want to become a mother. For many, like myself, the solution was adoption.  I am so thankful for the miracle of adoption, but is it right for you?  The following questions may help you find your answer.
Are you emotionally prepared for adoption? As with making any family planning decision, adoption requires a lot of self-reflection. It also requires that you come to terms with any grief you are experiencing resulting from infertility issues. A friend who adopted told me that she decided to adopt because the chances of becoming a parent were much higher than IVF. That’s true, but there are other challenges to consider. Open adoption is now the norm and it is recommended by experts in the field. Consequently, birth parents will become a part of your famil…

Free Workshop for Divorcees and Widows held in Dripping Springs on Friday, October 14

Jennifer Cochran-Green is hosting a workshop for divorcing and grieving women to approach legal and financial decisions in confidence.  The workshop will  be held  on Friday, October 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Dripping Springs Community Library at 501 Sportsplex Drive in Dripping Springs. The format is a lunch and learn where light refreshments will be provided and attendees may bring their own lunch if they choose. Jennifer will deliver a presentation focused on issues impacting children immediately after a death of a parent or during divorce.  Leanne Layne, an estate planning attorney with Kernodle Layne Group and Amy Colton, Wealth Advisor with Forefront Wealth Solutions will deliver presentations on making decisions about estate planning and financial issues. 
"I'm so excited to bring this seminar to the Dripping Springs community at no cost to attendees.  Throughout my career, I have found that many women are often caught off guard by their finances when in…