San Antonio Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer

If you need help with same-sex divorce matters, we’re here for you! Reach out to us today to schedule a meeting and talk about your situation. Don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help!

Top-Rated Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer | Family Matters Law Firm PLLC

Our legal system in the United States concerning family law leans heavily towards the concept of a traditional nuclear family. Yet, the reality of contemporary life reveals a rich tapestry of family configurations that defy this traditional mold. With the legal recognition of same-sex marriage—ushered in by the landmark 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges—family law in San Antonio, as well as the broader Texas and United States, has taken significant steps toward inclusivity. Same-sex couples now enjoy the right to marry and the legal provisions to dissolve such unions through divorce, should the need arise.

For LGBTQ+ couples in San Antonio confronting the end of a marriage, the support of a skilled San Antonio same-sex divorce lawyer from Family Matters Law Firm PLLC can be the difference between a process fraught with pitfalls and one handled with precision, compassion, and professionalism. Family Matters Law Firm PLLC stands at the forefront of family law, offering LGBTQ+ couples the assistance of seasoned attorneys who are well-acquainted with the potential complexities of same-sex divorce. Our San Antonio family lawyers are equipped to guide you through each step, ensuring that every decision is made with an informed perspective, safeguarding your rights, and facilitating a resolution that aligns with your values and goals. Our attorneys can also provide assistance in different types of family law cases in Texas.

Contact us today at (210) 997-2914 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys.

The Legality of Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce in Texas

Since the Obergefell decision, same-sex marriage has been recognized in Texas, affording couples the same legal rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples. This means that same-sex couples seeking divorce in San Antonio are subject to the same state laws governing marriage dissolution, property division, child custody, and support. 

Divorce proceedings for same-sex couples in San Antonio can be complex, particularly when determining the duration of the marriage for the division of assets or spousal support. Texas is a community property state, which presumes all property and debt acquired during the marriage to be owned equally by both spouses. However, same-sex couples may have acquired property together before their marriage was legally recognized, leading to disputes over its division. Furthermore, issues such as child custody can become complicated if both spouses are not legally recognized as parents.

The principle of recognizing marriages conducted in other states or countries is an integral part of the legal fabric in the United States, including Texas. With the passage of the federal Respect for Marriage Act in December 2022, all states are mandated to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions. This means that if you marry someone in a different state or country, the marriage is considered valid across the United States, including in Texas.

Should you wish to dissolve your marriage, you are required to go through the legal process of divorce, regardless of where the marriage took place. In Texas, this means that at least one spouse must satisfy the state’s residency requirement. Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Texas for at least six months prior to filing for divorce. In addition, you and your spouse must have also lived in the county in which you are filing for divorce for at least the last 90 days. 

In essence, the eligibility requirements for divorce in Texas remain the same for LGBTQ+ and heterosexual couples.

San Antonio courts handle same-sex divorce cases under the same legal frameworks as opposite-sex divorces. The courts strive to ensure that all parties are treated with fairness and equity. Judges are bound by the law to disregard any personal biases, and legal decisions must be based on the same statutes and case law applicable to all divorces in Texas. However, same-sex couples are advised to work with attorneys who have an extensive track record in family law to navigate potential legal hurdles and ensure their rights are fully protected throughout the divorce process.

Child Custody and Support IssuesDetails
Establishing Paternity and Parental RightsEstablishing parental rights in LGBTQ+ families may require legal steps such as adoption or parentage orders, particularly for non-biological parents.
Creating a Parenting PlanParenting plans in Texas must acknowledge and respect each parent’s role, tailored to the child’s best interests, irrespective of biological ties.
Determining Child Support ObligationsChild support calculations in Texas consider the non-custodial parent’s income and family circumstances, applying equally to non-biological parents with legal parental rights.
Modifying Custody and Support OrdersCustody and support orders can be modified in Texas upon showing a material change in circumstances, ensuring the best interests of the child remain paramount, regardless of parents’ gender.

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Division of Marital Assets and Debt

In a Texas divorce, including same-sex divorces in San Antonio, the division of marital assets and debt is governed by the state’s community property laws. These laws can present unique challenges for same-sex couples who may have cohabitated and shared finances long before their marriage was legally recognized. Understanding how Texas law treats the division of property and debt during the dissolution of a marriage is critical for same-sex couples to ensure an equitable resolution. 

Texas is a community property state, meaning that most property acquired during the marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses, regardless of whose name is on the title. In a divorce, the presumption is that all community property should be divided in a way that the court deems “just and right.” While this often results in a roughly equal division, that is not always the case. Factors such as each spouse’s earning capacity, fault in the dissolution of the marriage, and custody of children can influence the division.

For same-sex couples, the date of marriage becomes particularly important, as any property acquired before the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Texas might not automatically be considered community property. This can lead to disputes about the nature of property and how it should be divided.

Separate property includes anything one spouse owned before the marriage, property acquired by gift or inheritance, and certain personal injury awards. Proving that the property is separate is the responsibility of the spouse making the claim. This can be especially complex for same-sex couples if they commingled separate and community property during their relationship prior to the marriage, potentially transforming separate property into community property. Clear documentation and tracing of assets are essential in these cases.

Retirement accounts and pensions are often among the most significant assets divided in a divorce. Under Texas law, the portion of retirement accounts and pensions earned during the marriage is considered community property and subject to division upon divorce. The challenge in same-sex divorces can be determining what portion of these benefits accrued during the legal marriage, as opposed to the time the couple may have been together prior to marriage. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) are typically used to divide these assets without triggering taxes or early withdrawal penalties.

In the division of marital assets and debt, same-sex couples facing divorce in San Antonio must navigate both the standard procedures of Texas law and the unique circumstances of their relationships. It’s imperative to have legal representation with experience in both community property law and the specific issues that arise in same-sex divorces to achieve a fair and just division of assets and debts. Our team of skilled San Antonio same-sex divorce lawyers at Family Matters Law Firm PLLC can assist you in understanding your rights and protecting your assets. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Child Custody and Support Issues

Child custody and support are pivotal issues in any divorce case, and for same-sex couples in San Antonio, these matters are no less significant. Texas divorce laws focus on the best interest of the child when determining custody and support. However, for LGBTQ+ families, additional legal steps may be necessary to establish parentage, and there may be unique considerations when creating parenting plans and calculating child support.

In Texas, when a child is born to a married couple, there’s a legal presumption that the husband is the father. For same-sex couples, particularly male couples, establishing parental rights can be more complex. If the couple is using a surrogate, for example, they may need to go through the process of confirming legal parentage through an adoption or a parentage order.

For lesbian couples, if one partner gives birth, the other partner may need to complete a second-parent adoption to secure their legal rights, even if both names are on the birth certificate. Texas does not have a statute that explicitly addresses the parental rights of non-biological parents in same-sex relationships, so these legal steps are crucial to protect parental rights in the event of a divorce.

Texas law requires a parenting plan in all cases involving child custody, also referred to as “conservatorship” in the state. The plan must outline the rights and duties of each parent, a visitation schedule, and other specifics regarding the child’s care. For LGBTQ+ families, the parenting plan must acknowledge and respect the role that each parent has played in the child’s life, regardless of biological or adoptive ties. The parenting plan should be tailored to reflect the best interests of the child, with considerations for the child’s emotional and developmental needs.

Child support in Texas is typically calculated using guidelines based on the non-custodial parent’s income and the number of children. For same-sex couples, the same rules apply once parentage is established. The court will consider the income of the noncustodial parent, the needs of the child, and any specific circumstances of the family. It’s important for non-biological or non-adoptive parents who have been granted legal parental rights to understand that they may have the same child support obligations as biological parents under Texas law.

Life circumstances change, and with them, the details of custody and support orders may need to be revisited. In Texas, either parent can request a modification of the custody or support order if there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances since the last order was made. This could include changes in employment, relocation, changes in the child’s needs, or other significant life events. For same-sex couples, as with any other parents, the court will always put the best interests of the child first when considering any modifications to existing orders.

Navigating child custody and support issues requires careful consideration and often legal guidance, especially for LGBTQ+ families who may have to take additional steps to establish and protect their parental rights under Texas law. It is advisable for same-sex couples going through a divorce to work with attorneys who have experience in LGBTQ+ family law to ensure that the rights and interests of parents and children are fully represented and protected. To learn more, schedule a consultation with Family Matters Law Firm PLLC today.

Spousal Support and Alimony

In Texas, spousal support — often referred to as alimony — is not guaranteed in a divorce and is only awarded under specific circumstances. This holds true for both opposite-sex and same-sex divorces. Texas courts are fairly conservative when it comes to the award of spousal support, and there are strict eligibility requirements and limitations.

Eligibility for spousal support in same-sex divorces is determined by the same standards as for opposite-sex divorces.

Under Texas law, the spouse seeking support must demonstrate that they lack sufficient property to provide for their minimum reasonable needs and meet at least one of the following criteria:

The paying spouse was convicted or received deferred adjudication for an act of family violence during the marriage or while the divorce is pending, and the act occurred:

  • within two years before the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage is filed; or
  • while the suit is pending.

To add, the spouse seeking support:

  • Must be unable to earn sufficient income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs due to an incapacitating physical or mental disability;
  • Must have been married to the other spouse for 10 years or longer and cannot earn sufficient income to provide for their minimum reasonable needs; or
  • Should be the custodian of a child of the marriage of any age who requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a physical or mental disability that prevents the spouse from earning sufficient income to provide for the spouse’s minimum reasonable needs.

In Texas, alimony can be temporary or more permanent in nature. Temporary spousal support may be awarded during the divorce proceedings and is meant to support the receiving spouse until the final divorce decree is issued. Permanent alimony — which is not actually “permanent” in most cases — refers to the support ordered at the time of the divorce decree. It is typically limited in duration, with the maximum period depending on the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the longer the period of support, but it typically does not exceed 10 years.

Spousal support orders can be modified under certain conditions, such as a significant change in the circumstances of either party. This could include a substantial change in income, a medical emergency, or a change in employment status. However, the terms of the divorce decree might limit the ability to modify spousal support, so it’s important to understand the specific language in the decree. Spousal support typically ends if the receiving spouse remarries or cohabitates with a new partner in a romantic relationship, or upon the death of either spouse.

For same-sex couples, determining eligibility and calculating spousal support requires careful navigation of Texas divorce laws. The unique aspects of same-sex relationships, particularly the length of time the couple may have been together before marriage was legally recognized, can add complexity to these determinations. Legal representation experienced in family law matters can be invaluable in these cases.

Need an experienced attorney? Contact us for top-notch legal representation and guidance.

Family Matters Law Firm PLLC offers personalized legal guidance to meet your unique needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let us help you secure the results you deserve!

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

In the state of Texas, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are recognized legal documents that can significantly impact the outcome of a divorce, including in marriages between same-sex couples. These agreements can dictate the division of assets, spousal support, and other financial terms in the event of a divorce.

The enforceability of prenuptial agreements during a same-sex divorce in Texas is generally the same as for opposite-sex divorces.

For a prenuptial agreement to be enforceable, it must:

  • Be entered into voluntarily by both parties.
  • Provide a fair and reasonable disclosure of the property or financial obligations of each party. If disclosure is not provided, the other party must have had adequate knowledge of the property and financial obligations or waived the right to disclosure in writing.
  • Not be unconscionable when it was executed and, if applicable, when it is enforced.

The prenuptial agreement must not violate public policy or any laws, and it is highly recommended that each party be represented by their own attorney during the drafting and signing of such an agreement.

Postnuptial agreements, similar to prenuptial agreements, are made after the couple has entered into marriage. These agreements can address the same issues as prenuptial agreements and provide a framework for resolving financial matters in the event of a divorce.

When drafting a postnuptial agreement for same-sex couples, the following should be considered:

  • Both spouses must fully disclose their assets and liabilities.
  • The agreement must be entered into without coercion or duress and signed voluntarily.
  • The terms must not promote divorce or violate public policy.
  • The agreement should be in writing and signed by both parties.

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can greatly simplify the divorce process by:

  • Predetermining the division of property, which can avoid lengthy and costly court battles.
  • Establishing spousal support obligations, if any, which can provide certainty and clarity for both parties.
  • Protecting individual assets, including those acquired before marriage or personally significant inheritances and gifts.
  • Clarifying debt responsibilities, ensuring that each party is aware of their financial obligations post-divorce.

Challenges to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not uncommon in divorce proceedings. A spouse may argue that an agreement is unenforceable due to reasons such as lack of voluntariness, unconscionability, or lack of proper disclosure.

To uphold a marital agreement in court, evidence must be presented to show that the agreement complies with all legal requirements and that both parties entered into the agreement fully informed and without duress.

In Texas, courts generally uphold these agreements if they meet the legal standards for enforceability. Having a well-drafted agreement that adheres to Texas laws can reduce the probability of a successful challenge. Same-sex couples considering a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement should consult with a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced in Texas family law to ensure that their rights are protected and the agreement is enforceable.

Quality Legal Representation and Advocacy From Family Matters Law Firm PLLC

Navigating the intricacies of a same-sex divorce in Texas is a journey that demands astute legal guidance and steadfast advocacy. At Family Matters Law Firm PLLC in San Antonio, skilled attorneys stand ready to assist couples through this challenging transition. Understanding the complexities of such divorces and the importance of a tailored approach, these professionals combine deep knowledge of Texas family law with a sensitive touch to address the unique aspects of each case.

Selecting the right attorney means partnering with a legal professional who not only has extensive knowledge in LGBTQ+ family law but also brings a wealth of experience in handling same-sex divorces. Our attorneys understand the intricacies of dividing assets acquired before the recognition of same-sex marriage and ensure their clients are both heard and supported. As fierce advocates, they are committed to upholding their client’s rights, leveraging their knowledge and skill both in mediation and in the courtroom.

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be particularly beneficial in same-sex divorce proceedings. It provides a confidential setting for both parties to discuss and resolve disputes with the help of a neutral third-party mediator. Attorneys from Family Matters Law Firm PLLC can guide clients through the mediation process with the aim of reaching a harmonious resolution that respects the interests of all parties involved.

In situations where mediation may not be suitable, attorneys from Family Matters Law Firm PLLC are prepared to craft and execute a robust litigation strategy. From meticulous preparation and securing of crucial evidence to skilled courtroom representation and strategic negotiations, these attorneys are equipped to tackle the most complex of divorce cases, always with the goal of protecting their client’s rights and interests.

In the courtroom, the legal team from Family Matters Law Firm PLLC excels in strong advocacy, leveraging a thorough grasp of case law and precedent to benefit their clients. We are committed to clear, persuasive communication, all while upholding ethical standards of representation.

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Family Matters Law Firm PLLC: Your Source of Skilled Legal Guidance and Advocacy

If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community in San Antonio and facing the prospect of divorce, know that you don’t have to navigate this challenging journey alone. At Family Matters Law Firm PLLC, our skilled divorce lawyers possess the experience, sensitivity, and commitment necessary to guide you through the dissolution of your marriage with grace and dignity. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and advocating for your voice throughout the legal process.

We understand that every relationship is unique, and so is every separation. That’s why we offer personalized legal strategies designed to meet the individual needs of your case, always aiming to secure the most favorable outcome for you and your loved ones.

Take the first step towards a new chapter in your life with confidence.

Contact Family Matters Law Firm PLLC today at (210) 997-2914 and allow our experienced San Antonio same-sex divorce lawyers to support you in closing one chapter of your life with the respect you deserve, while laying the foundations for a positive future. 

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