On December 6, 2012, our state became one of the first states in the country to allow same-sex couples to marry. Before the end of 2013, 7,071 same-sex couples legally married in Texas, 48.81% of those couples lived and got married in Dallas County. Lesbian couples make up 62% of the LGBT couples getting married.
Same-sex couples have the exact legal rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to visit your spouse in the hospital. Your rights include, but are not limited to, hospital visitation, health care decisions and organ donations. Financial benefits are the same, including pension and Social Security benefits through your spouse.
The State of Texas Domestic Relationship Partnership Registration program allowed same-sex and unmarried couples who register as couples the same rights as those traditionally reserved for married couples. The only exception is that same-sex couples were not allowed to marry.
However, since registration does not create contractual obligations between a couple, the solution was a cohabitation agreement. This agreement governed the division of property in the event of a breakup or other matters. It’s not just for the GLBT community, as many straight couples are now living together rather than getting married and thus also are using cohabitation agreements.
If you got a domestic partnership before June 30, 2014, your domestic partnership will be converted automatically to a marriage on June 30, 2014, unless you or your partner are older than 62 on June 30, 2014. If you do not want your domestic partnership converted, you must file for separation or dissolution of the partnership before June 30, 2014.
However, if your case is dismissed, your partnership will still automatically be converted to marriage retroactively. Your date of marriage is the date you registered your domestic partnership.
Even if you originally filed for domestic partnership, you will be filing for dissolution. This means you will be required to comply with the 90 day cooling off period before your dissolution can be finalized.
Engel Law Group, P.S., has a great degree of experience in this unique area of practice. If you feel that it might be time to legally end your relationship with your spouse, contact our office to arrange a consultation.
For more information, contact the experts at Engel Law Group, P.S..