A state judge rules that Texas will recognize same-sex divorces.
In a new move that follows the federal ruling in February, a judge in Texas has deemed that the state’s restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, which paves the way for a Texas couple’s divorce proceedings.
Kristi Lesh and Allison Flood Lesh were married in 2010 in Washington, D.C. Kristi became pregnant via artificial insemination during the marriage and gave birth in Feburary 2013. The couple, who are now filing for divorce, are going through a legal battle because Texas state law won’t view Allison as a biological or adoptive parent, therefore ruling that Kristi should retain sole custody.
Because Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, it also doesn’t recognize same-sex divorce, which makes custody battles like this one a battle through murky water.
“Importantly, we’ve now had three state court judges in Texas all find that they had jurisdiction to hear divorces of same-sex couples who were legally married elsewhere,” stated attorney James J. “Jody” Scheske said. “To me, the law is very clear — if you reach residency requirements, if you’ve been here for 90 days, you have the right to petition for divorce.”
With the new ruling, same-sex couples can now proceed with divorce filings and custody arrangements in relation to the divorce. Allison Flood Lesh will now be eligible to split the custody of the child she had with her ex-wife, Kristi.
“She was out today buying things for her daughter’s bedroom,” stated a representative for Allison. “According to Judge Nellermoe’s ruling, she wants us to schedule a hearing in front of her as soon as we can arrange it to move forward with getting the visitation worked out.”