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Federal laws could create confusion for Colorado same-sex couples

Going through a divorce, or contemplating one, can be a very stressful and confusing time for any individual. Due to each state's differing laws, Colorado same-sex couples could face even tougher challenges and decisions with regards to divorce. One recent article explains that there could be a lot of hidden costs in same-sex marriages in the state.

The IRS is now allowing every legally married same-sex couple to receive the same tax benefits that married couples receive currently. This is applicable to the 37 states in which same-sex marriage remains banned or unrecognized. Unfortunately, these benefits may also create hidden costs for some same-sex couples that marry outside of the state from which they reside. Though the majority of states have laws that allow non-residents to marry, they generally won't allow them to file for divorce.

Federal law includes over 1,000 separate contingencies that allude to "marriage." Some federal laws are based on whether a marriage is legally recognized in the state it occurred, while other policies are determined by whether a couple's home state considers the marriage to be valid. Confusion sometimes can result in deciding which of these approaches should be applied for many laws.

The lack of clarity in our country's laws could create a lot of stress and confusion for any same-sex couples seeking a divorce . Any Colorado resident that is considering or facing a divorce from their same-sex partner by marriage or domestic partnership may benefit by researching their rights under state laws. A better understanding of one's rights may put them in a more favorable position going forward.

Source: Huffington Post, Hidden Costs of Federal Marriage Benefits to Same-Sex Couples, Deborah Widiss, Sept. 5, 2013

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