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Same-sex couples and divorce divorce

Non-traditional families have some similarities with traditional two-parent families, such as love and co-habitation. These families may face difficulties that traditional families do not, however, especially in regards to marriage and divorce. In some states, including Colorado, same-sex couples do not have the right to get married, and as some couples have discovered, many couples who do wed in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage have a difficult process ahead of them when trying to obtain a divorce in a nonrecognition state.

Some same-sex couples attempting to dissolve their legal marriage say they feel like 'second-class citizens" while filing for divorce. Many couples in states where same-sex marriage is not legal journey out of state to wed, which can compound the problems if the couple decides to divorce. Those couples may find that their best option is to establish residency in the state where they were married and file for divorce there, but legal experts recognize that this is hardly a practical or feasible idea for most people.

One of the biggest issues is the fact that property division still needs to take place following the split of a same-sex couple. Alimony may be desired by an individual as well. If a state does not recognize the validity of a marriage, it can be difficult to divide property and move on with life.

In Colorado, civil unions between individuals of the same sex are legal and recognized while marriage itself is not. Those who are seeking to dissolve their domestic union or out-of-state same-sex marriage may wish to consult with an attorney knowledgeable in the issues that may be involved.

Source: Colorado Daily, "Next step for same-sex marriage: The right to divorce", David Crary and Holbrook Mohr, December 01, 2013

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