With all the news about same-sex marriages, some of our Colorado readers might be wondering how the latest developments will affect people in the state. The answer is simple, but it is also complicated. With the order of the Attorney General John Suthers, all 64 county clerks in the state have to issue same-sex marriage licenses. This means that courts will also have to deal with same-sex divorce cases. There are some other aspects to same-sex couples that are also affected by the acceptance of same-sex marriage.
Since 2013, Colorado has issued civil unions to same-sex couples. That is one thing that isn’t changing because of the acceptance of same-sex marriages. Couples who want civil unions can still get those, and couples who are already in civil unions can remain in those.
Some same-sex couples in civil unions might decide they want to get married. In that case, they will still have to apply for a marriage license, but they won’t have to dissolve the civil union prior to the marriage. Of course, if the civil union was with another person than the person they are seeking to marry, they will likely have to get the civil union dissolved prior to proceeding with the marriage.
Since same-sex marriage are now legal, people who are married to someone of the same sex will have to go through the same process as opposite-sex couples if they want to get a divorce. This includes same-sex marriages that were performed in other states.
As the laws surrounding same-sex marriages evolve, people who are in them will have to keep up with the developments. This can be complex and time consuming. Working with someone familiar with same-sex marriages and divorces might help you to get answers to your questions quickly.
Source: The Denver Post, “Same-sex marriage in Colorado: 11 answers to commonly asked questions” Jordan Steffen, Oct. 19, 2014