It’s been less than a decade since same-sex couples and members of the LGBT+ community secured the legal right to marry at the federal level in the United States. The newness of same-sex marriage means that there are many legal issues that Texas has yet to address, including concerns that arise during same-sex divorces.

With the exception of states where such marriages were previously recognized by state law, many states are still in the process of establishing appropriate precedents and protocol for same-sex divorces. The courts may struggle to apply existing statutes to families with very different needs and structures, and there may not be enough legal precedent to guide them.

If you are in the scenario where your marriage is no longer viable, learning more about the special considerations that influence LBGT+ divorces can help you make better decisions.

The length of your marriage may not reflect the length of your relationship

For heterosexual couples, marriage has always been a significant transition point where they go from having separate lives to a combined one. The same distinction isn’t as easy to make for LGBT couples, who may have been cohabitating and sharing resources for years before they had the legal right to actually marry.

If you are considering ending a marriage that served as the culmination for a relationship that lasted decades before you had the right to get married, your finances may be more entangled than those of a heterosexual couple married for the same amount of time.

Child custody issues in same-sex marriages can quickly become complex

In a standard divorce with a couple that shares children, both parents will either have a legal adoptive or biological relationship to the children in the family. In same-sex couples, it is common for only one parent to have a biological connection to the children.

It is also possible that the couple chose to adopt, possibly with only one partner’s name on the adoption paperwork. Custody issues can quickly become heated and difficult in Texas same-sex divorces, and it’s important that you understand that you may have to advocate for yourself if you are neither an adoptive nor a biological parent of the children. However, with proper effort and advocacy, you may be able to get a positive outcome.