The Houston Family Law Blog


Travis County Judge Lets Gay Divorce Stand

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott made a request to intervene in Travis County's first same-sex divorce case between Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly, according to the Houston Chronicle. Yet, a Travis County judge declined to consider the case on Wednesday.

Attorney General Abbott argued that in court filings that Ms. Naylor and Ms. Daly shouldn't legally be granted a divorce because the state of Texas doesn't allow for same-sex marriage and defines marriage between one man and one woman. He also said that granting a divorce between the lesbian couple would subject Ms. Naylor and Ms. Daly to a lifetime of uncertainty. With this case, the two women were able to get married in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal.

Jennifer Cochran and Bob Luther, the Texas family law attorneys representing Ms. Naylor and Ms. Daly, argued that because District Judge Scott Jenkins had orally rendered final judgment with the case before Attorney General Abbott had sought to intervene, there was no legal standing for Mr. Abbott to even enter the case.

In another Texas gay divorce case, a Dallas judge also denied Mr. Abbott's attempt to intervene. District Judge Jenkins said that this case is positioned to provide legal precedent on the legality of gay divorce. The case could now go to the Texas Supreme Court, which could officially establish whether same- sex couples married elsewhere may legally divorce in the state of Texas. Some family law attorneys have argued in the past that not allowing same-sex marriage violates the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. Not allowing same-sex divorce can be another debate.

If you have questions about same-sex marriage, please visit our Related Resources.

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