The year 2014 had more questions than answers when it came to judicial decisions pertaining to a long-term ban on same sex marriage in Texas. But the June 26th U.S. Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision will have a profoundly positive effect on certain family law issues for same-sex couples within the state.
Still, the implementation of legal changes takes time in any state, and the SCOTUS decision can raise questions. Each Dallas family lawyer at GoransonBain Ausley is ready to answer your questions and help protect your new rights.
The Three Primary Areas of TX Family Law Affected by the SCOTUS Decision
The new law-of-the-land will render same-sex couples with immediate improvements in three vital areas of family law:
- Parenting Rights: Birth certificates for children born to same-sex married couples can now list both parents, rather than just one. This change eradicates many issues. Both parents now have equal rights to make vital medical and other decisions for their children. Just as important, one parent cannot lose rights to the children in the event of divorce.
- Adoption: Texas law already supported adoptions by same-sex couples, but adoptions have been handled on a discretionary basis based on the interpretation of the law by any given judge. As recently as June, 2014, a gay couple with two newborn children, each fathered by one of the men, could not adopt each other’s child. This type of situation will no longer be at issue, although the effect the new law might have on religion-based adoption agencies is yet to be seen.
- Divorce: Same-sex married couples from other states no longer need to have concerns about moving to Texas because the state now recognizes the validity of their marriages. In the event of marital turmoil, same-sex couples can take advantage of the same Texas divorce laws that have been available to other married couples.
New Rights Can Require Additional Support
As soon as the SCOTUS decision came down, the state of Texas started addressing concerns largely connected to balancing the new laws with maintaining religious freedom. As Texas law changes to incorporate the SCOTUS decision, same-sex couples may still experience challenges in these and other areas of family law.
Family issues require immediate attention. Contact GoransonBain Ausley to find out how we can help you and your children move forward with the same rights available to any family in Texas.