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The Foray Firm

Houston, Texas LGBTQ Family Issues Lawyer

Fort Bend County LGBTQ Lawyer

Attorney Serving Gay and Lesbian Families in Fort Bend County and Harris County

The legal rights of LGBTQ families have dramatically improved in Texas since same-sex marriage became legal at the national level in 2015 and same-sex couples were granted the same rights under federal law that all married couples enjoy.

Nonetheless, LGBTQ people should consult an attorney if they have any questions about their marital rights, rights in divorce, or parental rights in matters of child support and child custody, possession, and access.

At The Foray Firm, we understand that protecting the well-being of your family can still be a challenge for LGBTQ families, particularly when partners are not legally married. As practitioners of family law for over a decade, we can recommend solutions for even the most complicated family situations.

Protecting the Property Rights of LGBTQ and Same-Sex Couples

The Foray Firm Houston helps LGBTQ families take appropriate legal steps to protect yourselves in the event of death, disability, or divorce.

Estate Planning. If you are not legally married but are in a committed long-term relationship, The Foray Firm Houston can help you establish powers of attorney for healthcare and financial matters, along with wills or trusts to provide inheritance rights. These documents are also valuable for married couples, of course, but unmarried couples especially need them because they do not have protection under marriage law.

Premarital or Postnuptial Agreements. If you are already legally married or thinking about getting married, The Foray Firm Houston can help you create a well-thought-out prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that spells out each person's property rights. This allows each partner to protect assets for children from a prior marriage as well as for themselves in the event of a divorce. A clear separation between separate property and community property can also help protect assets from creditors.

If you are a stay-at-home parent, or if your spouse is the primary wage-earner for your family while you take greater responsibility for at-home duties, you should consider including spousal support in your agreement. In a contentious divorce where a judge has to decide whether to award spousal maintenance, Texas law strictly limits the judge's discretion based on the length of the marriage and other criteria. A prenup or postnup agreement can provide assurance that you will be provided for in the event of a divorce, especially if you have not been legally married for 10 years.

Divorce. Texas law states that assets acquired before marriage remain each person's individual property in a divorce. However, debts and assets acquired during a marriage—including pension benefits and retirement savings accounts - are community property that must be divided in just proportions upon divorce, which does not necessarily mean 50/50.

When a couple has lived together for years before being legally married, it can be difficult to differentiate an individual asset from a marital asset. An experienced divorce attorney from The Foray Firm Houston will ensure that you receive your fair share of assets even in the most complicated divorce situation.

Protecting the Parental Rights of LGBTQ and Same-Sex Couples

Establishing parentage. When a child is born to a married couple in Texas, both spouses' names can be on the birth certificate, and each spouse can choose whether to be designated a mother, father, or parent to the child. In more complicated situations, such as those involving assisted reproduction, gestational surrogacy, unmarried parents, or adoptions, Texas follows the Uniform Parentage Act, which defines procedures for establishing a child's legal parents. However, the procedures can be complicated, requiring a lot of legal paperwork and even court hearings. The Foray Firm Houston can assist you in securing your legal rights as a parent.

Divorced or unmarried parents. The Foray Firm Houston can also assist you with matters of child support and child custody. Texas law directs that the best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining conservatorship, possession, and access. Nonetheless, it is possible for individual judges to have biases that could work against you. We will steadfastly represent your interests and stand up for your rights in child-related proceedings.

Fort Bend County Lawyers Serving LGBTQ Families

The attorneys of The Foray Firm are dedicated to providing reliable legal representation to families of all races, ethnicities, and genders. Contact us in our Houston, TX office at 832-919-6400. We serve clients throughout the Houston area and Fort Bend County, including the communities of Fulshear, Katy, Richmond, and Sugar Land, and in Waller County and Harris County.

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