When the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is legal at the federal level and in all 50 states, same-sex couples gained more than just the right to marry — they gained the right to divorce. Even after some states, including Colorado, legalized gay unions prior to the SCOTUS ruling, divorcing was less than straightforward for many same-sex couples. Although the path to legally ending these relationships is now clearer, some confusion may remain.
In the past, some same-sex couples chose to travel outside of their state of resident in order to get married in a state that would recognize their union. However, upon returning home, they typically were not viewed as legally married by their home state. This made getting divorced and having any type of divorce settlement upheld a tricky feat.
Now, divorce for same-sex couples is possible in every state, even if prior to the ruling that state did not legally recognize gay marriage. This is especially important for issues such as alimony and property division that are typically addressed in a divorce settlement, and if one party refuses to adhere to the agreement, it can now be upheld and enforced in their state of residence. However, couples who entered into civil unions typically need to follow the state laws where it was performed, and some states even require residency to dissolve the union.
Divorce can be an appropriate choice for a myriad of reasons. Whether a relationship has turned violent or the two people are simply no longer in love with one another, the decision to end a marriage is often deeply personal for everyone, including same-sex couples in Colorado. However, with the legalization of gay marriage, same-sex couples no longer need to fear that their rights and divorce settlement will not be upheld.
Source: FindLaw, “Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know“, Accessed on July 21, 2015