Supreme Court Ruling Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce

On June 26th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court made history by ruling that same-sex marriages were to be legal in all 50 states. People from all across the nation rejoiced while others hung their heads in disagreement. What is not being addressed, however, are the ones who saw the moment as a bittersweet victory – the same-sex couples who could now file for divorce.

A Historic Day for Marriage and Divorce Alike

Before same-sex marriages were declared legal nationwide, couples married in states that allowed their civil union could not get divorced if they moved and lived in one that did not recognize their marriage. To some couples who wanted to separate and dissolve their marriage, they had become confined in an unhappy union due to state boundaries. Now, after the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, they can file for divorce at any county clerk’s office, regardless of where they live.

Or can they? In wake of the new law, which many believed would not come to fruition in this generation’s lifetime, lawmakers are scrambling to figure out how other aspects of the married life will be affected by the ruling.

Many local jurisdictions will not recognize a divorce unless the couple has lived there together for six months or even up to two years. It is unclear if a civil union during that period, now potentially considered a marriage, qualifies a same-sex couple for divorce. Issues arise in other portions of the law as well, such as matters involving child custody or child support.

Making Sense of the New Law in Texas

As 1 of 13 states that did not support same-sex marriage before the United State Supreme Court’s ruling, it is not a surprise that many Texans are opposed to, if not at least a little confused by, the decision. Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton is outwardly opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage and has alluded to, in a statement that can be seen here, the ability of county clerks to legally deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples, as it might infringe upon their religious rights. With the ruling only two weeks behind us and already sparking debate, it seems that it will be a hot topic for quite some time.

If you are a same-sex couple who need help filing for a divorce in Texas, you can rely on the Fort Worth divorce attorneys at Favila Terry Law, PLLC to assist you. For years, we have been helping people understand their rights and deal with their family law matters. Contact us today.