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Boulder Family Law Blog

Same-sex partners: How can we adopt?

Adoption can be a complicated legal proceeding in any situation, but when the prospective parents are a same-sex couple, it can be even more difficult. In today's society, there are various methods of adoption, and some of these may be easier or better suited for nontraditional families.

Using a public or private agency may be one of the most common ways to adopt, and both have their pros and cons. Public agencies may have antidiscrimination laws in effect that mean that a same-sex couple cannot be discriminated against purely on the basis of their sexual orientation. Private agencies, however, are able to determine their own criteria, and depending on the agency, this could be better or worse for same-sex couples.

Primary residence of actress center of jurisdiction dispute

Moving residences can present issues for any custody order or visitation schedule, and this is one reason parents are required to provide advance notice to their exes of any planned moves. The exact timeframes vary by order, but many provide for at least a 30 days' notice. This is to allow the other party enough time to retain counsel and make any filings to petition the courts for a custody or visitation schedule change.

However, it's also important for parents involved in custody orders to consult an attorney before planning any moves to make sure they are aware of any possible repercussions. This is true for moves across town, out of state or out of the country. The ongoing custody dispute playing out between actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband now living in Monaco highlights what can happen when one party moves.

Protect your domestic partnership by using legal methods

When you and your partner decide to commit to a relationship, you might opt to establish a domestic partnership instead of getting married. A domestic partnership can give you some of the same protections as a marriage. If you recall, we discussed some of those protections in our previous blog post.

We know that you want to ensure your domestic partnership is established in a legal manner. We can help you to ensure that you have everything you need to make your domestic partnership agreement legally valid.

Domestic partnerships allow couples to enjoy certain benefits

For some couples, domestic partnerships are the preferred alternative to a marriage. This type of union was created in the 1980s in response to same-sex couples who wanted to enjoy a variety of rights. Generally, domestic partnerships allow couples to have the same benefits as married couples if the domestic partnership is registered.

The benefits that people in a domestic partnership enjoy vary greatly. Some of the possible benefits include death benefits, health insurance, parental rights, family leave, life insurance and tax benefits. In order to get the allowed benefits, the couple must ensure that their partnership is recognized as valid and legal. This means registering it according to the local and state laws. It also means meeting specific requirements set forth by applicable laws.

Seeking grandparents' rights is difficult, not impossible

Grandparents' rights are a topic that many people have heard of. In the recent years, more and more grandparents are turning to the courts so they can have a meaningful relationship with their grandparents. Grandparents in Colorado should know that this is a grandparents' rights state, but as we discussed last week, that doesn't mean that getting those rights recognized will be easy.

There are several reasons why a grandparent might want to head to court to try to get visitation with a grandchild. We understand that no matter what the cause, the grandparents might choose to take a stand and fight to see their grandchild.

Does Colorado give grandparents the right to see grandchildren?

Having a meaningful relationship with grandparents can have a great impact on children. Some children aren't given the opportunity to build that relationship with their grandparents because of a troubled relationship between the child's parents and grandparents. In some cases, grandparents' rights might allow the grandparents to have visitation with their grandchildren.

Does Colorado recognize grandparents' rights?

Same-sex marriage ruling from Supreme Court might cause havoc

Same-sex couples in Colorado might have dodged a proverbial bullet if the Supreme Court opts to rule against same-sex marriage. In Colorado, state officials didn't contest the rulings of lower courts that were for same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples in other states might not be so lucky if the Supreme Court rules against same-sex marriage.

There are 14 states that prohibit same-sex marriages. Four of those states are involved in cases that are before the Supreme Court. It is expected that the ruling from the highest court in the land will come in the next few weeks. If the justices find in favor of Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky, chaotic legal scenes could ensue.

Common issues facing domestic partners

More and more couples are choosing to live together in long-term relationships instead of getting married, but the laws have not quite caught up. This means that these couples do not have the same legal rights as married couples in the event of a separation or the death or incapacitation of one party. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your interests, and we can help.

In the case of a couple who choose to live together without getting married, it is important to have a legal agreement over what will happen in the unfortunate event that things don't work out. This is especially critical when there are children involved. At The Offices of Keane Law, we can help you draft a domestic partnership agreement, which functions as a legal contract between both parties and lays out expectations as far as property division and child support in the event the couple separates.

Protecting your rights as a parent in child custody cases

Child custody is a touchy subject for some people. In some cases, people think that the court always leans toward giving a mother custody of the children just because she is a woman. While that might have been the case in the past, these days it isn't so. Just last week, we discussed some of the points about why a mother might be awarded custody.

When it is time for the court to decide the allocation of parental responsibility, there are several points that are considered. There is no one-size-fits-all arrangement for the court to use. Instead, the court will work to determine what is best for the child.

When courts give mothers child custody, it's for a reason

There has long been an idea that courts are biased when it comes to custody hearings and that they give child custody rights to mothers more often because of this bias alone. However, according to some research, the courts are not biased at all. They are just giving mothers the custody rights because it makes the most sense and it is in the best interests of the children.

The first point offered up by a recent study carried out by the Pew Research Center is that fathers are less active in primary child care when the couple are still married. They only did these types of primary care activities for about 6.5 hour each week, while women were at nearly double that, with 12.9 hours per week.

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