In what state can I fie for a divorce?

I’m 26; I got married when I was 19. About a month after we married, we split up. Basically, I felt I had made a wrong decision. It is a same sex marriage. We traveled to a state where same sex marriage was then legal for our wedding. After we split, we kept very little contact, and I knew divorce would be hard, because I live in a state which did not recognize same sex marriage. I’ve contacted my wife several times regarding the divorce but she has refused to try. She currently looking lives out of state. Here it is 7 years later, and the supreme Court ruled in favor for same sex nationwide. So although we married in another state, can I still divorce from here? I have no ties with that other state except for the marriage.

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A divorce can be filed in either the state you live in or the state where your wife lives.... as long as you each meet the residency requirements.  That's really the easy part of your question.

The hard part of your question is regarding the effect of the Supreme Court's ruling regaridng same sex marriages.  Historically, Texas has not recognized these marriages.. and some clerks and judges are still struggling with the concept despite the Supreme Court's ruling.  The issue will be whether or not your marriage will be considered a valid marriage since it was illegal at the time of it's inception.  This is a question with an answer that has not yet been resolved in the court systems.  If you need a divorce or some type of legal closure from your ex... consider filing a divorce... but include the alternative relief of a suit to declare the marriage void.  They have similiar effects, but the burden of proof of each is slightly different. 

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