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

Legal Options for Same Sex Couples in Texas

Cohabitation agreements are an important legal tool that same sex couples can use to protect their legal rights and finances in states where same sex marriage is not recognized. Some of the areas that same sex couples have addressed via cohabitation agreements include the following:

  • How to divide assets, income, expenses and debt
  • How money each partner brings into the relationship should be construed (for example, one partner may run a business whose income the couple agrees should belong only to the partner involved in the business)
  • How to handle child custody and support (but, courts always reserve the right to modify these determinations in the best interests of the child, and you cannot modify child support adversely; you may only make it more generous)
  • Agree upon when the relationship is over, which is not as straightforward for same sex couples because they are currently unable to divorce in Texas

Other legal tools for same sex couples

Cohabitation agreements may cover many of the same legal grounds that govern heterosexual marriages, but they are not all encompassing. Same sex couples should consider working with experts in other areas of the law that are important to the relationship. Below are several legal areas that same sex couples need to take into consideration:

  • Power of attorney – in heterosexual marriages, one’s spouse automatically has the power to make decisions during medical crises, but this does not exist with same sex couples; power of attorney forms can range from a limited grant of authority to one that grants someone else the power to make nearly any medical or financial decision
  • Wills – again, there are certain automatic legal presumptions that enter into effect when heterosexual couples marry, but these estate presumptions do not take place for same sex couples; a well-crafted will can address concerns of same sex couples about how their property will pass on

Have you used any of these methods to protect your same sex relationship?

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

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