Since 2015, same-sex marriage has been legal in Texas. The United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage in every state. Our Texas Family Law firm is a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and is proud to work with these communities. If you are an LGBTQ+ couple and you plan to get married or divorced in the state of Texas, the law is the same no matter who your partner is. You may find that there are many myths online about the rights of LGBTQ+ couples in Texas. However, our Texas family law attorneys are here to give you all the information you need to know about the rights of LGBTQ+ couples in Texas.
What the LGBTQ+ Community Needs to Know about Family Law in Texas
We have broken down the top questions that we are commonly asked about LGBTQ+ Family Laws in Texas.
How can LGBTQ+ couples get married in Texas?
To get married in Texas, the first thing you have to do is apply for a license at a county clerk’s office. When you are applying for a marriage license you will need to do/provide the following;
1. You must both go in person to the county clerk’s office.
2. Bring your passport, driver’s license, or state ID card. You must be able to prove your identity and age.
3. Fill out the application for a marriage license.
4. Take the oath printed on the application and sign the application before the county clerk.
You will need to wait 72 hours before being married by a judge or an authorized religious official. Your marriage license is good for 31 days from the date of issue.
Can LGBTQ+ couples enter into common law marriage in Texas?
Yes, LGBTQ+ couples can live as common law marriage. In order to establish a union as a common law marriage and for marital property rights to apply in Texas, couples must:
- Both must be at least 18 years old
- Reside in the state of Texas
- Present as being married
You can learn more about common law marriage in Texas by reading this blog post.
Do LGBTQ+ couples have access to the same benefits within their marriage?
Yes, they do. As a married couple, you have access to health insurance if available from employers. Access to Affordable Care Act coverage, family medical leave, and federal marriage benefits. It is important that you both protect your assets upon death. Your partner will have access to inheritance, property, assets, and any other requests within your will.
How can LGBTQ+ couples get a divorce?
No matter who your partner is, divorce works the same in Texas. You can obtain a divorce in the county where at least one partner resides, and you must live in the State of Texas for at least six months. It is best that you consult with a Texas divorce attorney who can walk you through the steps on how to file for a divorce in Texas.
These additional articles are great resources that can help answer your divorce questions.
- What Documents Do I Need to Prepare for My Divorce?
- Texas Divorce: Common Questions and Answers
- How to serve divorce papers in Texas
What custody rights do LGBTQ+ couples receive in Texas?
If you are getting a divorce in Texas, LGBTQ+ couples have the same custodial rights. It is very important that both parents have involvement in the lives of the children that you are raising together as co-parents. Generally, Texas law requires judges to make decisions about child custody, visitation, and support based upon the best interests of the child. However, it is more likely to be protected in divorce if you have a legal relationship with your children. If you don’t have legal rights to your children it is important to speak with a family law attorney before filing for a divorce.
Can LGBTQ+ couples adopt in Texas?
Yes, LGBTQ+ couples can adopt in Texas. However, Texas law, unfortunately, doesn’t protect against discrimination within a private adoption. If you are interested in starting the adoption process, this article on starting the adoption process in Texas is a great resource.
Our Texas family law attorney can assist you will all your questions or family law legal matters
It’s important that you choose an attorney specializing in family law in Texas who also supports the LGBTQ+ community and can help to guide you and provide any additional support or any resources you may need.