Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that legalized same-sex marriage in every state, in Colorado, same-sex couples were able to establish a legal partnership by establishing a civil union. A civil union is similar to a marriage, but there are some very key differences. For one thing, civil unions only afford couples certain protections on a state level. Same-sex couples who have formed civil unions are not eligible for the federal benefits and protections that are bestowed to married couples.
One of the other important differences between civil unions and marriages is that not all states recognize civil unions. This means that should you move to another state, the legal protections that your civil union provides in Colorado may not be extended to you in your new state of residence.
Same-sex couples who presently have civil unions will have to decide if getting married is the right move for them. Clearly, both the state of Colorado and the rest of the country are in a period of transition. While many same-sex couples may choose marriage, others might be more comfortable simply going with a civil union to get the legal protections it affords.
What if a same-sex couple who presently has a civil union wishes to part ways? Well, in such cases, couples must seek what is called a "dissolution," rather than a divorce. However, the process of a dissolution can be fraught with the same complications as a divorce. Often a dissolution involves settling such issues as property division, spousal support, child support and child custody.
If you are seeking to dissolve your civil union, you may wish to consider securing the services of a Colorado family law attorney who has experience in dealing with the unique legal challenges faced by same-sex couples.