Just like heterosexual couples have the option to form families in different ways, so do LGBTQ couples and single individuals. The law has changed to reflect the evolving landscape in the country, and LGBTQ couples and single parents can adopt children in the same manner heterosexual couples can. As per Colorado law, any individual over the age of 21 can petition for adoption. While the language of the law itself has not been updated recently, it does account for same-sex couples in civil unions and includes same-sex spouses.
In Colorado and across the nation, the relatively new law where people of the same sex can get married has often led to confusion regarding how the difference in the law impacts people in various circumstances. One issue that could be complex is when people had a commitment ceremony before they were legally allowed to marry. For those who do not believe they were married, it can come as a surprise when they are considered married based on the new law. When this or any other issue arises with same-sex family law, having legal assistance from a law firm that understands all aspects of these cases is imperative.
Even though same sex marriage is now legal in Colorado, complicated issues can still arise. For any same-sex marriage issue, legal assistance is a must.
After last week's post on our Colorado Springs family law blog concerning child custody questions at the end of a same-sex marriage, let's turn to the subject of same-sex partners who want to formally bring a child into their family. Sometimes, one legal parent of a child may want his or her same-sex partner to adopt the child, so they may raise the child together. Colorado same-sex family law provides for such adoption (Colorado Revised Statutes §19-5-200.2 through 19-5-212), even without a civil union.
Gay and lesbian couples in Colorado have availed themselves of the right to legally marry in our state since even before the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Obergefell case. With marriage, some are finding, come a number of legal issues. Unfortunately, same-sex family law is in some cases left trying to catch up to the realities of same-sex marriage.
Although the right to marry applies to all couples in the state of Colorado, same-sex marriages still carry some unique legal difficulties. These types of situations are stressful and uncertain no matter the type of relationship, but same-sex couples often face a different set of challenges regarding child custody and asset division.
Since our institutions have begun to recognize same-sex marriages, old and new same-sex families have considered parenting and expanding their family. A common way of pursuing child rearing is through adoption. However, the same-sex family may be wondering how to go about this process, or whether there are any special issues that need consideration, especially considering same-sex marriage is relatively new and, unfortunately, still controversial; yet, same-sex family law has been developing rapidly to smooth out the bumps in the process.
When a separate sex couple in Colorado brings a child into the world there are generally few questions about the child's parentage. Biological mothers and fathers are listed on children's birth certificates and those acknowledgements, as well as legal presumptions about marriage and parentage, usually result in both individuals having parental rights over their kids during their relationships and when those relationships end in divorce.
Many Colorado residents are familiar with the term "prenuptial agreement." Even if they are not married or if they are married, but did not execute a prenup prior to tying the knot, they may have a vague understanding of what these family law contracts do. Put simply, a prenuptial agreement is an agreement that two people enter into before they get married and that spells out what their financial and property rights will be during their union and what will happen with those assets if the partners choose to divorce.
The choice of two people to unite themselves in marriage is a major decision that will change the course of the participants' lives. In addition to maintaining their own responsibilities and relationships, they may find that they desire to take on more direct, active roles with regard to their partners' children or that they wish to grow their new families through adoption. For some Colorado residents, expanding their legal and familial relationships can be overwhelming, and many may not know how to progress when it comes to beginning family law proceedings.