Colorado Springs Same Sex Divorce Lawyer
Experienced LGBTQ Divorce Attorney Guides Same-Sex Couples through the Divorce Process in El Paso County, Teller County, Pueblo County, and Throughout Colorado
LGBTQ marriages are a relatively recent development in this country. While same-sex marriages don’t involve the traditional husband and wife, they’re no different in the eyes of the law in Colorado. In many cases, a Colorado Springs same sex divorce lawyer at Brighter Day℠ Law will be able to handle your divorce the same way we handle any other divorce proceeding. However, in certain situations, there might be some differences to be aware of.
Legal recognition isn’t the only way LGBTQ marriages mirror traditional marital unions. When same-sex marriages end prematurely, the divorce process causes the same anger, sadness, frustration, stress, and anxiety as with any other divorce. At Brighter Day℠ Law, we are able to provide you with the legal guidance to get you through this difficult time.
Contact a qualified Colorado LGBTQ divorce attorney to schedule a case evaluation today.
Table of Contents
Same-Sex Marriage in Colorado: A History
There are now at least two ways for LGBTQ couples to gain legal rights with respect to each other:
- Domestic partnership/Civil union
In Colorado, a domestic partnership is also called a civil union. Civil unions have been legal since May 1, 2013. Civil union amounts to a legal arrangement that two people enter into (regardless of their genders) in affirmation of their commitment to a mutually supportive and caring relationship (much like couples do when they marry). There is a legal process involved, but the criteria for entering into a domestic partnership in Colorado are the same as they are for couples who enter into a marriage in Colorado, and the basics include:
- You must both be at least 18 years old, unmarried, and competent to enter into this legal contract
- The law does not prohibit the two of you from marrying one another by reason of a blood relationship (or for any other reason)
- You must share a common household with your domestic partner.
- Neither of you can be party to another domestic partnership.
Same-sex marriage in Colorado has been legally recognized since October 7, 2014. Colorado’s state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was struck down in state district court on July 9, 2014, and by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado on July 23, 2014.
Regardless of the type of domestic arrangement, it is important to ensure that all of the rights granted in a same-sex union are fully understood and protected.
How a Same-Sex Divorce Could Differ from a Traditional Divorce in Colorado
In theory, a same-sex divorce should be exactly the same as a heterosexual divorce. But Colorado has only relatively recently begun recognizing same-sex marriages. Therefore there can be some additional issues that aren’t present in a traditional divorce.
For example, when deciding on how to divide joint assets or calculating alimony, one of the primary factors a court will consider is the length of the marriage.
Just look back to the date of the marriage license. No big deal, right? Not necessarily.
Because Colorado has only legally recognized marriages since 2014, this means many married couples will have their marital assets and alimony calculated back to 2014 at the very earliest. But many of them would have been living together for many years before that.
If they were in a domestic partnership or civil union, a judge may “count” that time when figuring out equitable distribution or alimony. But what about couples who were just living together, outside a domestic partnership or civil union?
Not all same-sex couples joined into these legal contracts before getting married. So would it be fair to ignore the many years of contribution one spouse may have provided to the relationship? It’s hard to say.
But you might think this shouldn’t be so complicated because heterosexual couples going through a divorce will have a judge look back at their marriage date, too. But it’s not the same. That heterosexual couple most likely chose the date to get married, while many same-sex couples had no choice when they got married, rather, they got married as soon as they were legally allowed to do so.
These are fairly new legal arguments that many family law judges and attorneys are still figuring out. This is why we strongly recommend that if you are in a same-sex marriage and are considering a divorce, you speak with a Colorado Springs same sex divorce lawyer from our firm right away.
Are You Seeking a Same-Sex Divorce in Colorado? Contact a LGBTQ Divorce Attorney at Brighter Day℠ Law Today
If you find your LGBTQ marriage heading toward a divorce, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted Colorado Springs same sex divorce lawyer at Brighter Day℠ Law. We have the knowledge and experience to handle the additional intricacies that sometimes accompany divorces with LGBTQ couples.
When you reach out to our office, you will get a prompt response and someone who listens to your legal issues and concerns. During this consultation, an experienced Colorado Springs same sex divorce lawyer will be able to assess your situation and help you decide on what to do next. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your rights are protected and that you get the legal help you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Same-Sex Divorces in Colorado
It’s hard to provide a definitive answer to this question. Under Colorado law, when a child is born into a marriage, there is the presumption that both spouses are the biological parents of the child. But this understandably does not apply when the parents are of the same sex.
One way to deal with this potential issue is to have a second parent adoption. This is where the non-biological parent can legally adopt their spouse’s biological child. This is often used by stepparents to become the legal parent of their spouse’s biological child.
After the second parent adoption process is complete, then during a divorce, the non-biological parent will have the same legal rights as if they were the child’s biological parent.
One potential issue is if you’re in a nasty divorce where child custody may be a hotly contested issue. If your spouse is the biological parent and they are going to try and keep you from seeing your child, getting a second parent adoption may not be easy.
That doesn’t mean there’s no hope. But you may need to get creative with your legal arguments. This is even more reason why having a Colorado Springs LGBTQ attorney on your side is so important.
Yes and no. Domestic partnerships are a separate legal construct from marriage. Individuals in a domestic partnership have only part of the legal rights granted to married couples. Therefore, the legal process for ending a domestic partnership will be different than ending a same-sex marriage.