Dallas Appeals Court Reverses Same-Sex Divorce Filing

Does a Texas district court have subject-matter jurisdiction over a divorce case arising from a same-sex marriage that occurred in Massachusetts?

The trial court held that it had jurisdiction and that article I, section 32(a) of the Texas Constitution and section 6.204 of the Texas Family Code, which limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Dallas Court of Appeals held that Texas district courts do not have subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a same-sex divorce case. Texas’s laws compelling this result do not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. They reversed the trial court’s order and remanded with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

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Emily Miskel

Judge Emily Miskel was appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott as the first judge of the 470th family district court of Collin County, Texas. She graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School and she is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Find Emily on Google+, Facebook, and other social media.

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