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What do I need to know about same-sex divorce in Colorado?

Before the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last year that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation, many states refused to allow such marriages. What often ended up happening was that a same-sex couple would be married in a state that did recognize their union and then moved to a state that didn't. If a divorce was needed, they weren't able to get one in the state they now lived. They would have to return to the state where they were married to file for divorce. Many states require a period of residency before granting a divorce.

When the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, it said that no state had to recognize the marriage of a same-sex couple from another state. States were allowed to choose and this often meant that a same-sex divorce was not possible or would not be enforced. When DOMA was overruled, though, that changed. Now states are required to recognize same-sex marriages from any state.

Even though the Supreme Court made that historic ruling, some domestic partnerships are not recognized in certain states. For example, before the ruling, Colorado recognized civil unions for same-sex marriages. Rhode Island and Delaware automatically converted their civil unions between same-sex couples to marriages in 2013. It's not yet clear how each state will respond to the changes in same-sex marriage laws.

If you are seeking divorce from a same-sex marriage, it's important that you are aware of your rights and legal options in Colorado. An experienced divorce attorney can provide you with more information about the divorce process and how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know," accessed Jan. 29, 2016

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