Ever since same-sex marriage was recognized by the US Supreme Court, couples of any gender pairing throughout the United States are entitled to the same formal marriage rights as heterosexual couples. With this relatively new precedent, there are a few common issues same-sex couples face regarding both their marriage and any legal separation or divorce.
Obergefell v. Hodges
In 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to the same right to marriage as opposite-sex couples in Obergefell v. Hodges, affecting every state throughout the United States. While considered a great success in the battle for marriage equality, this shift has also brought same-sex family laws to the forefront. Issues like separation, divorce, child custody, property division, and spousal maintenance all became uncharted territory as they pertain to same-sex couples. While the hope is that same-sex couples will be granted the same legal treatment as heterosexual couples, it is not always the case.
Same-Sex Couples Still Face Discrimination
Some establishments and individuals still discriminate against same-sex couples, and may sometimes be more resistant to working with same-sex couples in the same manner they would with opposite-sex couples. For example, if someone is taken to the hospital and is in a coma, their spouse may sometimes need to show proof of power of attorney or perhaps a valid marriage license in order to receive information pertaining to their loved one’s care or treatment. While all couples can be required to show this proof, sometimes the medical staff may be resistant to same-sex couples, forcing them to show visible proof, while taking heterosexual couples at their word.
This hypothetical situation is an example of one potential problem that same-sex couples may face due to continued societal biases. The truth of the matter is that many laws have not been updated by the Texas legislature yet. Despite the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell, the laws continue to be worked on in order to reflect the new shift in individual rights. However, there are still difficulties that same-sex couples will face given that the majority of this area of family law is uncharted. Not only will same-sex couples enjoy the formal process of marriage, they will also be forced to face the rigors of divorce and property division in a community property state.
Questions? Consult Our Houston LGBT Family Law Attorneys
While same-sex couples are legally granted the same rights regarding property, spousal maintenance, and child custody in the event of a divorce, it is still very important to ensure your rights are protected. Please let our team of attorneys help navigate this new landscape if you or someone you know faces some of these challenges.
For help with any legal issues regarding your LGBT marriage or divorce, contact Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC and request a confidential consultation.