Children’s issues in a divorce are overwhelming for any couple. Same-sex custody litigation may be complicated if a couple cannot agree on visitation, conservatorship, support, or custody. In these instances, each spouse will need to demonstrate that they are a legal parent to the child so that a court can make that determination (since the spouses can’t agree). In Texas, parentage can be established by the child being born or legally adopted during the same-sex couple’s marriage. In some cases, the child does not share DNA with either parent, and in other cases, children only share DNA with one parent (as many couples use a surrogate or a sperm donation). Therefore, same-sex couples often adopt their spouse’s child (called a ‘second-parent adoption’), or they both adopt the child. Courts are still not in agreement on how to treat assisted reproductive technology (sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy) for all couples.
According to the Texas Family Code, if someone wishes to prove a common law marriage, either “a declaration of their marriage has been signed” or the couple “agreed to be married and after the agreement they lived together in this state as [spouses] and there represented to others that they were married.” Common law marriage is usually difficult to prove since there is no marriage license or other documentation. Thus, it becomes quite challenging to pinpoint the actual “start-date” of the marriage. These difficulties exist for both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Therefore, common-law and informal marriages are now available to same-sex couples. Now, same-sex couples can divorce and may be eligible for spousal support, child support, or other assets from their spouse.
Retainer fees and cost estimates cause anxiety for many family law clients. Most of the time, this is the fault of lawyers. We do things differently. At Walters Gilbreath, PLLC our cost structure, bi...read more
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of our podcast, Jake & Brian sat down with Jim Piper, Of Counsel at Walters Gilbreath, to discuss how family law has changed since they started practic...read more
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Brian and his staff were great. Brian’s direction and expertise provided me with the legal information relevant for my needs over several years now. He listens and is steadfast which gave me comfort in the courses of action. I highly recommend him.Brian and his staff were great. Brian’s direction and expertise provided me with the legal information...
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