Same Sex Marriage and Divorce
In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples in all states have a fundamental right to marry under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. The ruling affects same sex couples in Colorado who wish to marry, as well as people who wish to get a divorce. As part of a same sex couple, it is advisable to consult a Denver same-sex divorce lawyer regarding the ramifications of your divorce. Under Colorado law, the process is the same for both same and opposite sex couples. The experienced family law attorneys at Plog & Stein offer both sound advice and diligent representation when the time comes to dissolve your marriage.Same Sex Marriage and Divorce in Colorado
As a result of the Supreme Court ruling, you may go to a county clerk's office and apply for a marriage license to marry your same sex partner, just as anyone else would. There are certain legal consequences that all couples in Colorado may need to investigate, and it may be helpful to obtain legal counsel before marrying.
Regardless of gender, Colorado recognizes common law marriages, which are marriages without a formal ceremony in which the parties cohabit, intend to be married, hold themselves out as such, and have a reputation for being married in the community. Though there is no binding case law addressing the applicability of common law marriage to same sex couples, there is no prohibition against it. As such, it’s also important to know whether you are common law married or engaging in behaviors which could create a common law marriage. If married, issues of property division, spousal support, and potential child issues may also arise. A same-sex divorce attorney in the Denver area can help you sort through each of these complications.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to enter into a premarital (or postnuptial) agreement to decide how property will be divided when a couple is divorced. Among other things, the couple may decide which property is separate property and which property is marital property. For some couples, it may make sense to make all property from the time that the couple cohabited marital property. For others, such as those with a high net worth, there may need to be more negotiations about which property should be considered separate property. It may be helpful to have these conversations before entering into a formal marriage so that both people understand and have reasonable expectations about the effect of a formal marriage.
If you are getting divorced from a same sex partner after entering into a marriage, you will need to go through formal divorce proceedings. Some couples may wish to obtain an uncontested divorce. However, it is possible that the spouses will have different ideas about one or more issues, such as maintenance, or how complex assets like a business or marital home should be divided. Knowing the law, what is fair, and what a court would do in a given situation can be invaluable when it comes to time to settle or litigate your case.
Prior to same sex marriage being legal in Colorado, the state law authorized civil unions. Dissolving a civil union entails essentially the same steps as dissolving a marriage, and our attorneys handle both types of cases. Likewise, though spouses may be same sex, custody issues might also arise, whether tied into adoption, surrogacy, or one party having children from a prior relationship. We handle those matters as well, understanding the importance of children to all parents.Consult a Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer in Denver or Surrounding Areas
Same sex marriage and divorce require an attorney who is familiar with the issues that may arise in any case. The law and court process should be blind as to both gender and sexual orientation. At Plog & Stein, our Denver same-sex divorce attorneys offer competitive retainer rates for all of our clients. Contact us at (303) 781-0322 or through our online form for a consultation. We also represent people who need a divorce or child custody attorney, or guidance with another family law matter, in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock, as well as other cities in Denver, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties.