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Texas same-sex couple fight for right to divorce

When a marriage doesn't work out, divorce is often the next step. It affords a fresh start to both parties, allowing them to put their frustrations behind them and have a clean break either alone or with someone else. There are many things to sort out once you have decided to split. However, for some couples in Texas, attaining the right to divorce is a battle in itself.

Currently, in Texas, same-sex marriage is banned and so is same-sex divorce. This means that a same-sex couple that has been married in another state but then moved to Texas has to remain married unless they move again. However, it is not even as simple as that, as many states require couples to have resided there for at least a year before they can file for divorce.

In Tarrant County, one couple is attempting to fight the current legislation in order to acquire a divorce. The two women have been married for four years, but now feel it is time to go their separate ways. Currently, however, their only option is to attempt to have their marriage declared void. Unfortunately, among other things, this does not solve the problem of property division once they split.

A divorce would allow their assets to be governed by the state's laws on property division. However, the Attorney General feels that same-sex divorce should not be granted while same-sex marriage is not permitted by the state. Nevertheless, the state Supreme Court is already considering two other similar divorce cases.

Like any other couple in Texas, these women just want the right to put an end to a legal bond they have made. If their request is granted, they will then have to work through the other stages of divorce, such as agreeing how to split their marital property. The complexity of a divorce varies from one couple to the next, but that is no reason to feel discouraged. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, an attorney may be able to guide you and ease the process.

Source: My Fox DFW, "Same-sex Tarrant County couple fights to get legally divorced," Lari Barager, May 16, 2014

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