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Colorado same-sex couples may face child support woes upon moving

Civil unions between same-sex couples are legal in the state of Colorado. Under these laws, couples are granted a large majority of the same rights that couples with state civil marriages receive, though they do not offer any of the federal benefits. One privilege is the ability to adopt children together, receive child support and obtain visitation rights.

However, according to reports, those rights may not be honored if the Coloradoan couple moves out of state. The current laws dictate that one individual in the partnership must have lived in Colorado for over 90 days to be afforded the legal safeguards under the civil union laws. Nevertheless, these laws are all relatively new nationwide and many of the states have not worked out the legalities when it comes to dealing with same-sex unions and legal marriages. This fact may leave individuals exposed and unable to free themselves from failed marriages. It may also postpone the ability to properly work out a child support dispute which would likely burden the biological parent with the full financial responsibility.

Only thirteen states recognize gay marriage as legal, and reports indicate that most of those states only allow dissolution of marriages in-state. This complicates things for individuals who want to end their marriage or civil union but are forced to move due to work or family issues and are left without legal protection. However, Colorado may be more lenient when it comes to dissolving marriages given that one lesbian woman who was married in Massachusetts said that she was able to officially dissolve her marriage after moving to Colorado.

If you are a same-sex couple that wants to end their union, it would be wise to speak with an attorney to better understand your rights.

Source: The Washington Times, “What follows gay marriage? Gay divorce?,” Myra Fleischer, Sep. 10, 2013

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