Same-sex marriage has been legal in the U.S. since the Supreme Court said that all states must allow it on October 7, 2014. It has not been a smooth ride, however. It took many legal battles over a long time to get to this point.
As such, many people have questions about various family law issues in Denver, Colorado regarding same-sex marriages. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions that companies like burnhamlaw.com face every day.
Is a civil union as good as marriage?
No. The state of Colorado gave gay couples some legal rights in 2013 under the Colorado Civil Union Act. A civil union allows them to jointly own real property, make insurance claims, and adopt a child like any married couple.
However, these rights are only on the state level. They do not get recognition outside the state and do not get federal and tax benefits that married couples have. To get these benefits, you need to get married.
Does Colorado recognize out-of-state marriages?
Yes. Colorado recognizes the status of gay couples married in other states before and after October 7, 2014, as long as the marriage license is valid. However, if you got a marriage license in Colorado before October 7, 2014, you may have a problem.
County clerks in Denver and Pueblo, gave out marriage licenses to gay couples in June and July of 2014 because they thought they could. This was before the Supreme Court ruling, but after the 10th Circuit lifted the ban on gay marriage in Utah. You may have to get a second license to make sure your marriage is considered legal in all aspects. Consult with a lawyer if this is the case.
Are gay couples different from heterosexual couples in a legal sense?
No. Same-sex married couples are on the same footing as other married couples. They get the same state and federal rights and responsibilities given to all married couples. These include filing for federal tax payments, getting Social Security benefits, and suing for child custody.
If you want out of your marriage, you also have the right to get a divorce if you want. The process is the same as for all married couples.
Marriage between same-sex and heterosexual couples are both legal in Colorado. They have the same rights and privileges. However, some questions may still arise since same-sex marriage is a new thing in the state. If you have any questions or doubts about your rights and responsibilities as a married gay couple, consult with an expert in family law Denver, Colorado.