In 2015, the United States Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage to be legal in all 50 states. This was a major win for LGBTQ groups fighting for equal rights at the state and federal levels. Since then, there has been an inevitable rise in the number of gay and lesbian couples seeking a divorce.
All couples are different, regardless of their orientation, but there are some factors that are more complicated when it comes to relatively new same-sex marriage and divorce. What are some of the unique challenges of same-sex divorce in Colorado?
Division of property and other assets
Many same-sex couples have been together for a long time, even though they were only legally married in 2015 or later. Some of these couples may have had a legal civil partnership, or civil union, in the years leading up to 2015. In 2000, Vermont became the first state to recognize civil unions. These legal arrangements granted gay and lesbian couples some, but not all, of the same benefits of marriage. However, courts may not know whether to include those years that the couple had a civil union when dividing assets.
Child custody can be tricky for same-sex couples because one or both of the spouses may not be the biological parent. Courts generally award the biological parent custody of the child. However, this is not always in the best interest of the child.
Knowing some of the unique challenges that same-sex couples face during divorce can help people be better advocates for themselves and their children.