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Divorce is a hurdle for same-sex couples in Texas

Divorce can be a trying time for any couple, especially when there are children involved. Nearly every divorce carries with it the added responsibility of picking up the pieces of a shattered relationship and moving forward in life. Many spouses headed towards divorce began to consider where they might relocate. Others begin contemplating entering into a new relationship with another person. Now imagine that you and your spouse could no longer function as a married couple, yet were legally unable to divorce. Essentially, your life would be put on pause indefinitely.

That's exactly what one Texas woman is saying about her struggle to end her same-sex marriage with her wife of four years. The 33-year-old oil field engineer says that she never contemplated how difficult it would be to get divorce when her and her wife legally wed in Washington back in 2010. The problem is that Texas, like many other states of the union, currently do not recognize gay marriage. According to the Texas Attorney General, allowing same-sex couples to divorce could descend into a chaotic situation because Texas currently has no legal provisions pertaining to same-sex marriage.

This situation creates a kind of legal limbo for the San Antonio, Texas, oil field engineer who says that all she wants is a divorce and is more than happy to share custody of her 17-month-old daughter with her current spouse. Unfortunately, Texas law doesn't recognize her as having been married or even being a mother to the child.

Another interesting dilemma facing the oil field worker is that being unable to divorce prevents her from remarrying or beginning a new relationship with someone else. The irony is that she fears that the same Texas laws that will not recognize her marriage will classify her as a bigamist or an adulterer if she moves on with her life.

As mentioned earlier, divorces involving children are complicated matters. There are often heated disputes regarding child custody, child support payments, visitation rights and other unforeseen quarrels. That is why incorporating the assistance of a family law professional into your divorce proceedings could potentially make things easier and accelerate the entire process.

Source: USA Today, "For some same-sex couples, breaking up is hard to do" Richard Wolf, Jul. 25, 2014

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