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New Colorado law merges civil union and marriage licenses

Sometimes, the creation of new law can have a ripple effect throughout the legal system and it can take time for the proper adjustments to be made. The legalization of same-sex marriage is a case in point. While the acceptance of gay marriage was a positive step for the LGBT community, it created a seemingly small, but potentially cumbersome legal issue.

Before same-sex marriage becoming legal in Colorado, many gay and lesbian couples opted to form civil unions, which they were legally entitled to do. Then, once they were allowed, some of these civil union couples got married.

This was all well and good as long a couple stayed together. However, should the couple choose to get a divorce, they were faced with an extra burden; they would have to engage in separate proceedings to legally end both the marriage and the civil union.

Fortunately, the Colorado Senate has approved a bill that effectively merges both licenses together, meaning that applicable couples will no longer have to go through an extra proceeding.

On another positive note, the bill was supported by some of the most conservative members of the Senate. One Republican lawmaker noted that while there was disagreement regarding the manner in which marriages should be defined, people should not face undue difficulties because of problems caused by the state.

What the passing of this bill also demonstrates is that when a same-sex couple decides to end their marriage, they still may face some unexpected hurdles. As we see, the laws are still in flux. As such, if you are involved in a same-sex divorce, you may wish to contact an attorney who has experience handling such cases. An attorney who understands the legal challenges faced by same-sex couples can help you navigate through the often complex process of divorce.

Source: CBS Denver,"Republican-Controlled Senate Passes Bill That Helps Gay Couples," Shaun Boyd, Apr 29, 2016

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