The Siemon Law Firm
Call Us Today
866-497-5134

Texas Attorney General Says Married Same-Sex Couple Can't Divorce

On December 15, attorneys representing the State of Texas and a same-sex couple who filed for divorce argued before a panel of three court of appeals judges. The issue before the court was whether a judge can grant the couple a divorce in Texas. State law currently limits marriage to a man and a woman.

The lawyer from the state Attorney General's office told the judges that the state's same-sex marriage ban also prevents same-sex couples who were married in another state from getting divorced in Texas. If the appellate court allows the divorce to go forward, it would be tacitly legitimize same-sex marriage, which would violate the marriage law, the Attorney General lawyer argued. Instead, same-sex couples may dissolve their unions through a process called "voidance."

The couple's lawyer told the panel that Attorney General Greg Abbott waited too long to intervene in the case. The couple had a two-day divorce hearing in February to determine how to divide their property and custody of their five-year-old son.

At the end of the hearing, the judge made an oral ruling granting the women a divorce. The next day, Abbott moved to intervene, saying the judge lacked authority to grant a divorce to a same-sex couple. The judge rejected the Attorney General's intervention, and issued a written divorce decree March 31.

A great deal of the oral arguments centered on whether Abbott had intervened in time. Two of the judges asked the state's attorney whether the divorce was not final the moment the judge orally granted the divorce. The attorney disagreed, and argued that the Attorney General had the power to intervene in the divorce at any time, even after it was resolved, since it challenged a Texas law.

The couple was married in Massachusetts in 2004. The two women later moved to Texas and adopted a son. One of the women filed for divorce last year.

Source: Austin American-Statesman, "Court urged to void Travis County gay divorce," Chuck Lindell, December 15, 2010

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Let Us Help You

Contact our Georgia Family Law Firm by calling
866-497-5134 or by completing this contact form. An attorney will respond within 24 business hours.

Email Our Team Today

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

We Have Offices in Atlanta, Cumming and Alpharetta for Your Convenience.

The Siemon Law Firm
4555 Mansell Road, Suite 300, #28
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Phone: 770-521-4316
Fax: 770-521-4317
Alpharetta Law Office Map

The Siemon Law Firm
3348 Peachtree Road Northeast, Suite 700, #721
Tower Place 200
Atlanta, GA 30326

Phone: 678-954-4917
Fax: 770-521-4317
Atlanta Law Office Map

The Siemon Law Firm
347 Dahlonega Street, Building 100
Cumming, GA 30040

Toll Free: 866.497.5134
Phone: 770-888-5120
Fax: 770-521-4317
Cumming Law Office Map