Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage and divorce between same-sex couples could not be prohibited by states within the country, overriding a longstanding ban in Texas.
In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court found that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and that each state must license those who apply. Due to the ruling, same-sex divorces will also be allowed to take place.
The Supreme Court ruling attracted many headlines. Shortly after the decision was announced, some conservative leaders in Texas, including Attorney General Ken Paxton, said that local clerks do not have to issue marriage licenses.
In a written opinion, Paxton said that clerks could potentially deny marriage licenses with claims of “religious objection”. However, he did note that any official or agency that denied a marriage license over religious objections could face litigation.
Same-sex marriage proponents said Paxton’s line of thinking is fundamentally incorrect. “Religious liberty is a fundamental right protected by the First Amendment, but that doesn’t mean that government officials can use their personal religious beliefs to avoid following the law regarding marriage,” said Rebecca Robertson, the legal and policy director for the ACLU of Texas, according to the Texas Tribune.
Immediately after the Supreme Court ruling, many jurisdictions, including Travis and Harris counties, began issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples, while some claimed that they were not equipped to handle demands, saying they were awaiting guidance from Paxton or updated application forms.
As there seems to be displeasure among some officials in Texas regarding the Supreme Court decision and some are threatening not to adhere to it, we suggest that you continue to follow our blog for more news. We will continue to update you as more information becomes available.
Seeking a Same-Sex Divorce in Texas?
As we noted above, the Supreme Court ruling gives same-sex couples the right to marry and divorce, regardless of any objections that occur at the state or local level. If you are in a same-sex relationship and wonder how divorce laws affect you, now would be a good time to speak to our Lewisville family lawyers about your legal options.
You will want to make sure you receive expert guidance at this time, as it will help with any confusion over the ruling. Additionally, you will want to make sure that our attorneys calculate your assets and review documents relating to property division.