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Texas Supreme Court To Tackle Same Sex Divorce

Written by Gardale Hatley on Tuesday, 05 November 2013. Posted in Palmore Hatley Blog, General

Same-sex couples can't get married here, can they get divorced here.?

Texas Supreme Court To Tackle Same Sex Divorce

The Texas Constitution bans same-sex marriage, but what if you get married somewhere else and relocate to Texas. Can you then get divorced in Texas? That issue is about to go before the Texas Supreme Court.

The Court is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday on whether Texas can grant divorces to same-sex couples who married elsewhere. Both cases involve same-sex couples who married legally in Massachusetts.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is set to argue that state law won't allow Texas to recognize the divorces because that would validate the marriage.The hoping-to-be-divorced couples will argue that Texas' Constitutional ban, approved in 2005, is in direct conflict with the  U.S. Constitution. Of some importance is the recent US Supreme Court ("SCOTUS") decision that struck down President Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act. The Defense of Marriage Act ("DoMA") was a Federal ban on same-sex unions. This summer the SCOTUS ruled that the DoMA treats same-sex couples unequally. (I promise, we're almost out of acronyms.)

At the same time the SCOTUS has deferred to the states to handle the issue of same-sex marriage. The Texas cases are another attempt to force the Supreme Court's hand in deciding the issue.

The country as a whole has flipped on this issue. Back in 1996, around the time of the enactment of DoMA, 68% of Americans opposed same-sex unions. Today that number sits at 48%.

Don't hold your breath, the Texas court is not expected to rule for several months.

About the Author

Gardale Hatley

Gardale Hatley

Gardale Hatley was raised in Lampasas, Texas and moved to Montgomery County more than 15 years ago. He focuses his practice primarily in Montgomery and Harris counties.

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