Going through a divorce is never an easy process. However, for an LGBT couple filing for divorce, matters can often feel even more complicated than usual.
When navigating the ins and outs of divorce as a member of the LGBT community, know that you’d don’t have to go through this process on your own. At the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, we pride ourselves on focusing exclusively on family law. That means we have a great deal of experience in this area, and we have the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to fight for you and your family. Speak with one of our The Woodlands LGBT Divorce Lawyers today to discuss your case and see how our team can help.
Dissolution of Marriage: An Overview of Texas Divorce Law
Nobody enters into marriage hoping or expecting that it will end. Nevertheless, the fact remains that divorce in the United States is relatively common. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate in the state was 1.4 divorces for every 1,000 people in 2014. Before going through a divorce, here are a few things to know.
When Can I File for Divorce?
Under Texas Family Code § 6.301, a divorce action can be brought in the State of Texas only when one of the parties has:
- Lived in the state for at least the preceding six-month period; and
- Been a resident of the county where the suit is filed for the preceding 90-day period.
Notably, only one party has to meet these requirements.
Grounds for Divorce
There are a number of grounds for divorce in Texas, including the following:
- Conviction of a felony,
- Living apart, and
- Confinement in a mental hospital.
These are fault-based reasons for divorce. However, Texas also recognizes no-fault divorces based on insupportability. This provides couples a way to divorce without the need for either party to prove wrongdoing. When you claim insupportability, you’re saying that the marriage has become insupportable due to discord or conflict of personalities to the point where there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation.
How Is the LGBT Divorce Process Different?
Logistically, the divorce process for LGBT couples is the same as the process for heterosexual couples. The first step will be to draft a petition for dissolution of marriage and file it with the court.
After filing and paying the requisite filing fee, you will then have to serve the petition on your spouse, which provides them with formal legal notice of the pending action. This is typically done using a county sheriff or hiring a process server. Your spouse will then have 21 days from the date of service to file an answer with the court.
Notably, Texas law imposes a mandatory 60-day waiting period. Thus, the court will not enter a final divorce decree until at least 60 days have passed since the filing of the petition. During this timeframe, however, the divorce process will continue through:
- Discovery to obtain evidence,
- Discussions between the parties,
- Hearings on disputed issues, and
- Temporary orders from the court.
To learn more about the divorce process in Texas, speak with a qualified lawyer today.
Issues LGBT Couples Face During Divorce
In the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of same-sex couples to get married. As a result of this historic ruling, states like Texas, which previously banned same-sex marriage, must now recognize marriages between same-sex partners. Because LGBT marriages are now recognized, so too are LGBT divorces.
Nevertheless, despite changes in the law and society, the fact remains that an LGBT couple filing for divorce may face a number of issues throughout the process.
Married in Another State
For example, before Obergefell v. Hodges was decided, some LGBT couples married outside of the State of Texas in states where same-sex marriage was already legal. But when such a couple moves to Texas and later ends the relationship, some believe they will not need to get divorced. This comes from the belief that they were never legally married in Texas; therefore, they don’t need a legal divorce. However, this is not the case. Regardless of where or when you got married, you will have to go through the divorce process to formally end the marriage.
Another common issue that LGBT couples face relates to custody, especially when one of the parents is a biological parent of the child and the other parent is not. While both parents may ultimately be entitled to certain parental rights, determining those rights and custody arrangements can be a complicated and emotional process. It’s generally recommended that you speak with a qualified attorney who can properly advise you.
How an LGBT Divorce Attorney in The Woodlands, TX, Can Help You
Having an experienced attorney in your corner can make the process feel less stressful and more manageable. An LGBT divorce attorney in The Woodlands, TX, can help with the following:
- Advise you on the law and the process so you know what you can expect moving forward,
- Draft and file pleadings and other legal documents with the court,
- Gather evidence and prepare witnesses to support your case,
- Make court appearances and argue on your behalf,
- Take your case to trial if necessary, and
- Be a fierce proponent for you and your rights.
In short, an experienced family law and divorce attorney can provide you with the support and advocacy you need and deserve.
Ramos Law Group, PLLC: The Woodlands LGBT Divorce Lawyer
When you’re going through a divorce, you deserve a team with the resources and experience necessary to guide you through what can be an extremely challenging process. At the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, we hope we can be that team for you.
Here are just a few of the reasons we think we would be a great fit for your LGBT divorce case:
- Our attorney Mary E. Ramos is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization;
- We pride ourselves on focusing our practice exclusively on family law;
- We’re honored to have received many great reviews from a wide range of our past clients; and
- We have a strong record of success for our clients in divorce cases of all types.
Call our team or contact us online to learn more about our LGBT divorce practice and see how the Ramos Law Group, PLLC, can help you today.
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Divorce – Think of the children
Work on being flexible with the other parent.
The importance of gathering information.
Tip – Filing your original petition
There are several things to gather and consider.
Our Client Testimonials
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.
"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."
"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. "
"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. "
"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. "