A recent Texas divorce case garnered national attention when a same-sex couple married in another state decided to end their marriage here in Texas. The couple was married in Washington D.C. in 2010. They also have a 15-month-old daughter. On May 30, a State District judge ruled again that she had proper jurisdiction to hear the matter because it had been properly filed in Bexar County.
An attorney working for one of the litigants had opposed the divorce on the grounds that the court had no power issue a ruling on the divorce. The attorney argued that because Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage, the court cannot render a decision.
The judge’s May 30 ruling said that she had authority to recognize the “foreign judgment” and denied that motion. The decision allows the divorce to move forward theoretically, but it has been placed in a holding pattern until review from a higher court. At issue, the Fourth Court of Appeals is reviewing whether the State District judge has the jurisdiction to decide matter of custody and visitation regarding the couple’s child. That decision is still pending.
Divorce is a trying time for all parties involved, but it is sometimes more difficult when done in a state other than the one where the marriage occurred. Sometimes navigating the nuanced intricacies of divorce and family law in general, requires help from those more experienced in such matters.
Whenever children are involved in a divorce, custody and visitation can become hotly contested battlegrounds. Generally speaking, a parent who receives primary custody is entitled to support from the other parent to assist with the health and welfare costs of raising the child.
Source: mysanantonio.com, “Judge retains jurisdiction in same-sex divorce case” Michelle Casady, May. 30, 2014