First same-sex divorce granted in Tarrant County

A long fight is finally over for a same-sex couple that married in another state, then moved to Tarrant County and wanted to split up.

A Fort Worth judge was able to grant their divorce Thursday because of the recent Supreme Court decision recognizing same-sex marriages across the country.

They are one of just a handful of same-sex married couples in Texas to get to family court and granted a same-sex divorce.

Brooke Powell and Cori Jo Long married in New Hampshire four years ago.

Last year, their request for a divorce was turned down. At the time, Texas law banned same-sex unions.

The only option to dissolve the marriage was to have it "voided.”

Long told the court in September that voiding their marriage wasn't good enough.

There are emotional and practical benefits to divorce: former spouses can keep health, tax and Social Security benefits. Not to mention property rights.

Attorney Sonya Carrillo says the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage paved the way for their divorce.

“For my client, it was absolutely just a fundamental issue that she felt she needed to do something about, and I do think she sees herself as a little bit of a pioneer in this area,” said Carrillo.

Attorneys say they think it will become easier for other same-sex couples to get divorced after Powell and Long broke legal ground as others follow behind them.

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