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Texas sees its first same-sex divorce

A few months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States made nationwide headlines when it legalized same-sex marriage all across the country. Many people rejoiced about the decision to finally marry their loved ones, but there were many people who lamented the new law. Shortly after that, Texas made many national headlines as various public officials and county clerks stood up for their religious beliefs and vowed to do what they could to stop same-sex marriages from happening.

The debate about same-sex marriage continues to rage across the country and particularly in Texas, but while many are concerned with same-sex couples' right to marry, some same-sex couples are taking advantage of their newfound right to divorce.

As Texas was a state that did not even recognize same-sex marriages, not only could same-sex couples not be married in our state, but they could also not have a legal marriage performed in another state dissolved in Texas. This meant that same-sex couples who had been legally married had to stay legally married if they resided in Texas. With the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage, this is no longer the case.

Shortly after the Supreme Court decision, one same-sex couple in Houston took advantage of their new rights in the state in order to get the first divorce in the city. The moment was bittersweet for the former couple, who claimed that they parted as friends, but it serves to remind Texas residents of a very important point: the right to same-sex marriage includes the right to same-sex divorce.

While there are not likely many Texas same-sex couples who wish to divorce, the increase in same-sex marriages may increase demand for same-sex divorces in the future. Same-sex couples who wish to divorce are encouraged to seek the aid of an attorney to learn more about their rights and what they should expect from a divorce in Texas.

Source: Houstonia, "Behind the Scenes of Houston's First Gay Divorce," Sarah Rufca, Sep. 1, 2015

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