LGBTQ Family Law In Texas
LGBTQ families face legal issues just like everyone else, however, some of the legal issues the LGBTQ community faces can be unique as a result of changing laws. Moffett Law Firm has been helping LGBTQ couples with matters such as adoption, custody and property issues for many years. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriages on a federal level, the state of Texas is also starting to see same-sex divorce. If you are facing a same-sex divorce, we can help. We are able to help LGBTQ families with the following matters:
- Property division
- Establishment of parentage
- Adoption and surrogacy
- Custody disputes
Charting An Unknown Path With LGBTQ Divorce
Divorce can be challenging. For many LGBTQ couples, navigating a divorce can be confusing and overwhelming at times. After all, relatively few cases of this kind exist thus far, making these more recently established laws unclear to many. You’ll likely need a caring, experienced LGBTQ divorce lawyer to assist you with the complex issues that may surface during your same-sex divorce, including the characterization and division of assets.
Determining the character of assets and dividing property in divorce can often be problematic, but it can be even more complicated in same-sex divorce cases. Before same-sex marriage legalization in 2015, many gay couples created common-law unions or married in states that permitted same-sex marriages at the time. Some proceeded to marry once they legally could, while others remained in their common-law marriages.
Herein lies the issue: the actual date of marriage is often quite difficult to determine in these cases. If a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender couple organized a common-law marriage in 2007 and later married in 2015, then it can be difficult to pinpoint the year in which they were united for purposes of rental property laws in the state of Texas.
Identifying the official commencement of marriage certainly matters in same-sex divorce because that date indicates explicitly when the community property estate begin and impacts the interplay between separate property rights and community property rights of the parties and their respective estates. This complication is precisely why you need an attorney who is experienced in handling these complex same-sex divorce issues who can assist you in a fair division of community property or preserving your separate property.
Ensuring Child Custody Rights Is A Top Priority
Perhaps the most sensitive and complex concern in LGBTQ relationships is children. In traditional divorces, parent-child issues are often the most difficult and emotional to deal with. The same is true in same-sex divorces involving children, or in separations of couples who were never married but have children together. While same-sex divorces involving children are subject to the same rules and statutes governing any other parent-child case, these cases can present unique facts and circumstances that can make these cases significantly more complex.
LGBTQ custody cases will present unique issues concerning the rights granted to each parent, the periods of possession of the children granted to each parent, and the payment of child support between the parties. These issues can become more complicated when one spouse is the biological parent of the child. These unique circumstances make it essential to discuss your particular needs and circumstances with local LGBTQ family law lawyers before you file for divorce in Houston.
Standing For Right
We’ve come a long way since June 26, 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution itself affirmed rights to same-sex marriages. Though challenges still arise, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender couples continue gaining legal rights and recognition that were previously not available. We also know that divorce is not the only family law issue your family may face. The Moffett Law Firm is committed to helping families navigate the unique complexities these cases present and seeks solutions concerning family law rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender partners.
Reach Out Today
If you’re facing same-sex divorce or a related family law issue in Texas, call our office at 713-987-4250 or reach out to us online. We’re experienced Houston-based divorce attorneys who will guide you through this complex legal situation. Your rights matter and they matter to us.