Austin LGBTQ Divorce Lawyer

Same-sex couples are equal under the law both when they marry and when they divorce marriage. Although the same laws and procedures apply when same-sex and opposite-sex spouses divorce, gay and lesbian couples face some unique challenges. The compassionate divorce attorneys at Kimbrough Legal PLLC recognize those challenges and are well-equipped to advocate for your rights in divorce.

Contact an Austin LGBTQ divorce lawyer at our firm when you begin considering divorce. We can walk you through what to expect, help you prepare, and guide you through the process until you receive your final decree.

Property Division Challenges

In a community property state, both spouses have an equal interest in all property either spouse or the couple acquired after marriage. Property that each spouse owned when they got married is separate.

Many gay and lesbian couples were together and living as committed partners or were married in other jurisdictions, but their marriage was not recognized in the state until 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges. Couples in this situation might have conflict over distinguishing separate property from marital property, with one spouse wanting to set the marriage date – and the date at which newly acquired assets become community property – at a time before their union became legal.

The law requires judges to divide property in a just and equitable way, which leaves room for flexibility in some cases. When a judge must decide property division in an LGBTQ divorce, an Austin attorney could provide persuasive evidence in support of a spouse’s preferred property division scheme. In most cases, the better strategy is to negotiate an acceptable division between the spouses, which allows them more control over the result.

Complications Regarding Access to Children

Texas law recognizes the importance of a child having a close relationship with both their parents. When parents divorce, Texas Family Code § 153.131 favors arrangements that allow each parent substantial time with the children and influence over decisions that affect them. Same-sex couples who adopted a child together, or who had a child through assisted reproductive technology and formalized a second-parent adoption, each have equal rights to conservatorship and access.

However, some same-sex couples raise children with biological or adoptive ties to only one spouse. In such cases, the spouse who is not the child’s legal parent does not have legal rights to conservatorship and access. Heartbreaking situations can arise when custody disputes prevent a spouse who has served as a parent in all ways is denied the opportunity to maintain the relationship with the child after the couple divorces.

Our Austin LGBTQ divorce lawyers are committed to achieving the outcome that best serves the children in all cases. When adopting the child is not possible in a specific case, they will search for creative solutions to allow the child to benefit from a continuing relationship with the spouse who provided them parental love and care despite the absence of a biological or legal relationship.

Staunch Support Throughout the Process

Divorce is always a stressful and emotionally disorienting experience. It can be more so when a couple faces discrimination in the courtroom or the community.

Although the law is unbiased, sometimes the people implementing it are resistant to recognizing the rights of the LGBTQ community. Their perceived disapproval can add unnecessary and unwelcome stress to the process.

Work with a divorce lawyer in Austin who is committed to advocating and upholding the rights of LGBTQ people while achieving a fair and workable divorce settlement.

Engage an Austin Attorney to Manage Your LGBTQ Divorce

When you divorce, you need an attorney who is equipped to support you throughout the process, both legally and  emotionally. As a member of the LGBTQ community, you can face some unique challenges during divorce, and you need an attorney who is prepared to meet them.

Work with an Austin LGBTQ divorce lawyer at Kimbrough Legal PLLC who is committed to providing fierce advocacy and sensitive legal representation to members of the LGBTQ community. Reach out today to speak with a compassionate and skilled attorney.