Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Areas of the Law That Can Help Same Sex Couples

President Obama’s recent announcement in support of same sex marriage has brought the issue into the media limelight the past few weeks, and it will probably remain an important topic as we head into this fall’s election. A number of states, including Texas, have cases pending before their highest state court that will determine the right of same sex couples to marry, divorce or have their marriages recognized in other states. As the law currently stands, same sex couples may not marry or divorce in Texas. Texas also does not recognize same sex marriage performed lawfully in other states. This does not mean, however, that same sex couples have no legal options in Texas.

Same sex couples have many of the same legal concerns as heterosexual ones, but typically cannot make use of the same legal protections. For example, a marriage contract joins two partners together financially. If they later end up divorcing, a family law judge will split their assets, ensuring that each spouse walks away from the relationship with his or her fair share of marital property. Same sex couples receive no such property division if they split up.

What legal tools are available to same sex couples in Texas?

Even though Texas family law may not yet be of any assistance to same sex couples, other areas of Texas law can bridge some of the gaps. Cohabitation agreements are one of the more popular methods by which same sex couples protect their rights. These agreements are civil contracts that govern the relationship. Texas law permits people to enter into these agreements in “consideration of nonmarital conjugal cohabitation” – in other words, unmarried couples in a relationship living together can enter into contracts to provide for each other.

On Wednesday, we will go into some of the ways in which cohabitation agreements can help same sex couples, and we will also discuss a few other legal tools of which same sex couples can take advantage.

Have you ever used a cohabitation agreement? Why did you and your partner consider it important to do so?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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