Empathetic and Thorough Legal Guidance in Your larimer and Weld County Same-Sex Divorce
Divorce is not an easy process for anyone. Not only can the filing process be confusing and chaotic, but so can the dispute resolution process. If you need a same-sex divorce attorney, turn to our Colorado firm.
Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. is a firm advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and will assert your marriage and divorce rights in Colorado. We will provide an empathetic office atmosphere as you discuss your legal concerns with us, and then we will pursue extensive research into the law and your circumstances to develop a strong case for you.
Contact LGBT family lawyers near you to learn about how we can help you resolve your case today.
Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce Laws in Colorado
In 2014, Colorado was already recognizing same-sex marriages. A year later, the United States Supreme Court followed suit with Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex and heterosexual marriages equal under federal law. As same-sex couples have the same rights as any other couple to marry, so they have the same right to divorce.
As long as the couple meets the following requirements, they may petition for divorce in Colorado:
- They married in Colorado; and
- At least one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for 90 days prior to filing.
Note that some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples may be in a civil union rather than a marriage, as civil unions preceded the legalization of marriage in the state. Dissolving a civil union is generally the same as dissolving a marriage. Our same-sex divorce lawyers can help with cases involving civil unions, as well.
Child Custody & Visitation Issues in Gay & Lesbian Divorces
While the divorce process is the same for all couples in Colorado, gay and lesbian couples may face unique complications in disputes like custody. This will not be too much of a problem if both spouses are the legal parents of the child, in which case the same standard will be used to determine custody as for heterosexual couples – the best interests of the child.
Note that being “legal parents” means:
- The child was born into the marriage;
- Both spouses legally adopted the child together; or
- A non-biological parent adopted their partner's biological child through a second parent or stepparent adoption.
If only one spouse is the legal parent of the child, the situation can become more complicated depending on the parent's needs. However, the court will usually prioritize the best interests of the child, which means that may even award parenting time to a spouse who is not legally a parent but has acted like one throughout their time with the child and when there is no biological parent whose rights would be affected by such an appointment. In other situations, parents may need to bring forward maternity or paternity petitions to legally exercise their parental rights.
Same-sex parentage is also protected under Colorado's Uniform Parentage Act, which includes the following provisions:
- Clarifies the voluntary acknowledgment of parentage and the rules for acknowledgment or denial;
- Makes provisions for assisted reproduction;
- Creates requirements for surrogacy agreements; and
- Specifies the use of information about donors.
If you are seeking an LGBT divorce in Fort Collins, CO, reach out to Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. for legal assistance. An LGBT family lawyer can help you assert your rights as a spouse and a parent, especially as they come under pressure in custody proceedings. Whether you have an uncontested divorce on your hands or a complex case that involves paternity or maternity petitions, we can help.