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LGBT Divorce Lawyer in Sugar Land

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is the law of the land in 2015. In Texas, this includes the ability of an LGBT couple to establish a common-law marriage. The right for an LGBT couple to marry under the law carries an implicit right to divorce. LGBT divorces must meet the same legal requirements as any Texas divorce. However, there are some unique complications that an LGBT couple may face when getting a divorce.

If you are in an LGBT marriage and are seeking a divorce, you need an experienced Sugar Land LGBT divorce lawyer who can help you overcome the specific obstacles you might face. Our client-centered attorneys at the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, can help you navigate the complexities of getting an LGBT divorce in Texas. Our attorneys understand that divorce is a sensitive issue and that clients must be treated compassionately. We also pride ourselves on our mastery of Texas family law, including divorce law. When you turn to us, you’ll find excellence in our advocacy and sensitivity to your needs.

LGBT Divorce Process

An LGBT couple filing for divorce must follow the same laws and procedures as any other couple. This generally includes meeting the prerequisites for filing in Texas and either settling the divorce or litigating it in court.

Prerequisites for an LGBT Divorce

Texas has several legal and procedural prerequisites for all divorces. Primarily, you or your spouse must be residents of the state and have a valid legal reason for seeking a divorce. An LGBT divorce attorney in Sugar Land can advise you about these and any other requirements.

Texas residence

LGBT couples, like all couples, must meet the Texas residence requirements before they are eligible to file for divorce in the state. You or your spouse must:

  • Be a resident of Texas for at least six months before filing your petition, and
  • Be a resident of the county where you file your petition for at least 90 days before filing.

If you do not meet the requirements, you’ll likely have to file for divorce in another state. If you are in the military, residence time is calculated a little more liberally.

LGBT divorce grounds

Another prerequisite for all Texas divorces is to have a legal reason or grounds for divorce. The law sets forth the legal grounds for divorce, which include the following:

  • Insupportability,
  • Adultery,
  • Physical or mental cruelty,
  • Felony conviction where the convicted spouse is incarcerated for a year or more,
  • Abandonment for a year or more,
  • Living apart for at least three years, and
  • Confinement in a mental hospital for at least three years.

Each of these grounds has specific proof requirements. A Sugar Land LGBT divorce lawyer can further explain these grounds and which may be appropriate for you.

Many people hear about fault and no-fault divorces but do not know the difference between the two. In a fault divorce, one spouse claims that the other did something to cause the breakdown of the marriage. The last six grounds listed above are fault-based grounds for divorce. In a no-fault divorce, however, you claim that your marriage is broken beyond repair, and neither spouse is to blame for its demise. In Texas, insupportability is the no-fault ground for divorce.

LGBT Contested and Uncontested Divorces

Another frequent inquiry for LGBT couples considering divorce is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, the couple typically agrees to the terms of a divorce, thereby avoiding the need for litigation. That means that they agree to things such as:

  • The reason for the divorce,
  • How to classify separate and community property,
  • How to divide the community property,
  • Each party’s decision-making ability for shared children,
  • A parenting schedule, and
  • Whether either party will pay child support or spousal support.

Parties in an uncontested divorce will document their agreement on these issues in a marital settlement agreement. A judge must still review this agreement, but otherwise, the couple’s time in court is minimal.

In a contested divorce, however, the couple disagrees on one or more issues. Couples in a contested divorce often have to attend multiple court dates and other appointments to fight their case. Ultimately, the case will go to trial if they do not resolve their issues. This means a judge must decide on the contested issues based on evidence and the law.

Issues LGBT Couples Face During Divorce

As discussed, LGBT couples generally face the same legal and procedural requirements as any Texas couple seeking a divorce. However, because same-sex marriage and other rights for same-sex couples are a relatively recent phenomenon, LGBT couples may face some unique complications.

Property Issues

One of the issues a same-sex or LGBT couple may encounter in their divorce involves how to divide marital property. Under Texas law, all property acquired during a marriage is generally considered property of the marriage or community property. In a divorce, the court divides the community property between the couple. Property acquired before marriage, or specific property like individual gifts or inheritances, are considered the individual’s separate property and not subject to division.

However, because same-sex marriage is relatively recent, couples may have lived together as spouses before it was legally recognized. During this time, one person may have contributed significantly to the other’s property. Or, perhaps one person worked so the other could go to school, all before getting married. Because a person may have contributed to what’s technically considered separate property before marriage—because marriage was not legal at the time of the contribution—determining separate property and community property can be complicated. This is why you should consult with an attorney familiar with the issues of LGBT couples facing divorce.

Child-Related Issues

Another issue that divorcing LGBT couples might face is child custody. Fortunately, if the couple is married at the time of the child’s birth, the LGBT spouses should have all rights associated with legal parenthood. This includes the right to make decisions for the child, spend time with the child, and seek custody of the child.

However, a complication arises if the couple is not married when the child is born. In this case, one parent may need to legally adopt the child to have the rights of a parent. It’s extremely important to contact an LGBT divorce attorney in Sugar Land to determine how to maintain your relationship with your child after a divorce.

How Can a Sugar Land LGBT Attorney Help?

Divorce is never easy because it involves emotional upheaval and detailed laws and procedures. However, LGBT couples may face additional complications due to the relatively recent legalization of same-sex marriage. LGBT couples need lawyers who are sensitive to their needs and familiar with the law affecting their rights.

Fortunately, the divorce lawyers at the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, know the detailed Texas laws affecting LGBT divorces. Our team focuses exclusively on family law issues, meaning we’ve dedicated our time and resources to knowing all there is to know about Texas family law and procedures. This enables us to give our clients the best possible representation in their divorces. If you need an LGBT divorce attorney, contact us today.

Divorce – Think of the children

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Tip – Filing your original petition

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Our Client Testimonials

Superb Law Firm

The decision to end my 25-year marriage was not an easy one, but hiring the Ramos Law Group was. From the initial consultation to the execution of the Divorce Decree everyone at the firm displayed the utmost professionalism and I was treated as if I was their only client. My attorney Lindsey, always provided precise legal guidance, was usually one step ahead of the opposing counsel, and had a superb understanding of how things would play out in the court room. Additionally, whenever my case needed a little extra horsepower, Mary provided that "surge" to keep things on track.

Worth Every Penny

"Ms. Ramos and her entire staff worked with professionalism and compassion to guide me through the most difficult time of my life and to an outcome that was best for my family and myself. Ramos Law is incredible and I highly, highly recommend their services."

Custody case won

"I was recommended to see Mary Ramos for my on coming custody case,it was the best thing I could've done honestly.The Ramos law group was quick with emailed responses and telephone calls,informative with ANY questions I had and they also took action with what they thought would work,which it did,I had money troubles and they were still willing to help they sent me with a younger lawyer Lindsey Lewis to help save some money and she was the best!She knew what she was doing and Mary was still on my case to make sure things went smoothly and to catch any details Lindsey and I might have missed.All in all I am a very satisfied client and if I ever needed a family lawyer again I would come back.My case was won as I received primary for my daughter which is exactly what I asked for.If you're willing to listen to what they have to say and follow their guidance they're definitely worth hiring.I thought I wanted sole custody for my daughter and they explained that wasn't in the best interest for her and honestly they were right,they speak to you on a professional level and also a real level of how things are actually going to work and what could happen if you take a certain action.They definitely care about their clients and make their own bond with you,you're not just money in their pockets you turn into family. "

Divorce Attorney

"I received excellent advice and representation from Ms. Lindsey Lewis. She kept me updated at every step of the process, and I never felt as if my case was set aside. I would hire The Ramos Law Group in the future. "

Highly recommend

"I started my divorce with a lawyer who was not very responsive. My divorce case was complicated and needed more laborious scrutiny. Since the case was not moving forward I had to switch lawyers. Made the switch to Ramos Law group. Since the very first day Mary and her team have been very efficient and meticulous. Since the case was complicated the team had to go through myriads of pages in discovery. I was pleased with the legal team that helped us handle the paperwork in a very timely manner. All my questions were answered very promptly. The relay of information was easy with their software system. We finally had a law firm that we could trust. My divorce was finalized and I only have Mary and her team to thank for going through a difficult divorce. I would highly recommend the Ramos law group for their help and support for getting my life back on track. "

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