Addressing Issues for Same-Sex Divorces in Texas

Addressing Issues for Same-Sex Divorces in Texas

The Supreme Court decision authorized Same-Sex Marriage for all citizens in the United States. Same-sex couples who married earlier in another state that allows same-sex marriage and who are now Texas citizens may seek a divorce.

The State of Texas now may modify divorce jurisdiction over a same-sex couple. Since many same- sex couples are either new residents to the state or have questions governing residency rules as their marriage was officiated in another state, we will review the following important divorce requirements from the Texas Family Code comes into play:

FAM 6.301- General Residency Rule for Divorce: A suit for divorce may not be maintained in this state unless at the time the suit is filed either the petitioner or the respondent has been

A domiciliary of the state for the preceding six month period
A resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period

Fam 6.302- Suit for Divorce by non-resident spouse: If one spouse had been a domiciliary of this state for at least the last six months, a spouse domiciled in another state or nation may file a suit for divorce in the county in which the domiciliary spouse resides at the time the petition is filed.

Fam 6.305- Acquiring Jurisdiction over Nonresident Respondent:

If the petitioner in a suit for dissolution of a marriage is a resident or a domiciliary of this state at the time the suit for dissolution is filed, the court may exercise personal jurisdiction over the respondent although the respondent is not a resident of this state if:
(1) This state is the last marital residence of the petitioner and the respondent and the suit is filed before the second anniversary of the date on which marital residence ended

(2) There is any basis consistent with the constitutions of this state and United States for the exercise of the personal jurisdiction.

A court acquiring jurisdiction under this section also acquires jurisdiction over the respondent in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.
Another very important item to consider is THE MANDATORY WAITING PERIOD FOR A TEXAS DIVORCE?

Fam 6.702- Waiting Period

Except as provided by Subsection (c), the court may not grant a divorce before the 60th day after the date the suit was filed. A decree rendered in violation of this subsection is subject to collateral attack.
A waiting period is not required before a court may grant an annulment or declare a marriage void other than as required in civil cases generally.
A waiting period is not required under Subsection (a) before a court may grant a divorce in a suit in which the court finds that:
The respondent has been finally convicted of or received deferred adjudication for an offense involving family violence as defined by Section 71.004 against the petitioner or a member of the petitioner’s household
The petitioner has an active protective order under Title 4 or an active magistrate’s order for emergency protection under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, based on a finding of family violence, against the respondent because of family violence committed during the marriage.
What are the Grounds for Dissolution of Marriage in Texas?

(1) Insupportability (no fault)
(2) Cruelty
(3) Adultery
(4) Conviction of felony
(5) Abandonment
(6) Living apart
(7) Confinement in mental hospital

The above is a general brief overview of residency requirements, a waiting period for a divorce, and grounds for a Divorce in Texas.

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