As more states are passing legislation permitting same-sex couples to get married, the latest being Illinois just this week, the polls of citizens here in Texas demonstrate that such action is not likely to be successful in the chambers of the Austin state house anytime soon. That does not mean, however, that our state is exempt from dealing with the family law questions that develop when gay couples make their union legally binding in another state and then come home to Texas.
This week, the Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning whether or not our state can grant divorces to same-sex couples. James Scheske, the attorney for the two gay couples involved in the lawsuit, argued that Texas cannot deny the right to divorce to those whose marriages were deemed legal in the state in which they took place. Texas Assistant Attorney General James Blacklock disagreed and made the case that the only way for gay couples to end their marriage in a state that doesn’t recognize the union is to void the legal contract altogether and agree that the marriage was never real.
It will likely take several months before the Texas Supreme Court issues its legal opinion on this matter, but there is no doubt that the decision will be highly anticipated and analyzed by lawyers and non-lawyers alike. As gay marriage becomes more prevalent throughout our country, state legislatures and courts will need to consider how to handle the same family law issues that have been at stake in heterosexual marriages for years.
At Bertolino LLP, we have family law attorneys who make it a priority to stay on top of all legal developments in our field. You can be certain that if you are dealing with the many emotional issues involving divorce, child support or other matters of family law, we will be ready to guide you through the process. If you need help, please contact our Austin, Houston or San Antonio office today.
What do you think? Should the state of Texas grant divorces to same sex couples even though our state does not recognize the legality of the marriage in the first place?