Domestic Partnerships, Gay Marriage, and Same-Sex Marriage
As the definition of family has evolved, so to has the need for changing laws. Unfortunately, Texas laws have not kept up. While many states are providing for same-sex or gay marriages, or civil unions, the only legal protections afforded to same-sex couples in Texas right now are the protections established in a domestic partnership. I attempt to help domestic partners with legal problems from the initiation of the agreement to the dissolution or termination of the relationship. Contact me to assist you in your domestic partnership. I can establish agreements for any Texas couple.
Establishing a Domestic Partnership Agreement
As with any contract, a domestic partnership agreement should be carefully thought out and drafted in order to fully detail the rights and obligations of the parties involved. I will assist you with negotiating, drafting, and reviewing the agreement. Even if your same-sex marriage is legal in another state, you may still need a Domestic Partnership Agreement as Texas currently does not allow divorces for gay marriages.
In addition to the domestic partnership agreements, I offer guidance to domestic partners involved in the adoption process.
Dissolution of Domestic Partnerships
As with any couple, all relationships are potentially subject to failure. If you and your partner decide to dissolve your same-sex marriage and go your separate ways, I can provide guidance through the legal obstacles looming ahead. As with clients enduring divorce, I assist domestic partners with complex property division and parenting issues, such as child custody, visitation rights, and in certain circumstances, child support.
When a same-sex marriage has adopted a child, determining visitation and child custody is not as clear cut as other cases. I typically use in-home studies, psychologists, child experts, and other specialists to show the best interests of the child.
As you may have heard, the State of Texas has been fighting hard to prevent same-sex marriages and divorces for gay marriage entered into in other states. Whether a divorce is possible in your case relies largely on the ruling by the Dallas Court of Appeals who is considering the constitutionality of the ban on gay marriage and in turn the ban on divorce for a same-sex marriage. You can read more about this on my posts Gay Divorce in Texas and Gay Divorce in Texas Wins its First Big Battle.
Please contact me for experienced legal representation with domestic partnership-related concerns.