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Same-sex divorce complicated because of marriage barriers

Can you imagine having to stay in a dead-end, loveless marriage just because of some law that says you aren't really married even though you are really married? That is the sad reality for some married couples who are living in Texas. The problem with these marriages is that they are same-sex marriages that were performed in other states. Because of Texas' refusal to acknowledge same-sex marriages, people in them who want a divorce are stuck being married. When there are children involved, the family law issues get even more complex.

The story of one 33-year-old woman might make the situation a little more understandable to some. The woman has a 17-month-old daughter with her spouse. Because her spouse is a woman, Texas doesn't recognize the marriage. The 33-year-old woman wants to share custody of her daughter, but her name isn't on the little girl's birth certificate. She is now stuck in an almost endless loop of difficulty.

The woman married her spouse in 2010 in Washington where same-sex marriages are legal. Now that the marriage is over, this woman is discovering that legally ending her marriage isn't going to be easy. She can either fight for the divorce, try to get an annulment or move to a state that will allow the divorce.

Understanding the complexities of same-sex divorce is often made more difficult when you think about the changes that can occur as the couple awaits the divorce to take effect. Assets, debts and other matters can change, which could alter the agreement that the couple makes for the divorce. For anyone, especially those in a complex divorce, knowing applicable laws and statutes might help them to get the settlement they need as quickly as possible.

Source: USA Today, "For some same-sex couples, breaking up is hard to do" Richard Wolf, Jul. 25, 2014

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