The US state of Colorado this week allowed a groundbreaking dissolution of a same-sex civil union which was entered into out of state.

The state currently has laws which recognise same-sex civil unions and marriages from out-of-state, but the legality of divorcing was unclear due to a patchwork of different standards from other states.

Juli Yim, a client of lawyer Kyle Marleton, one half of the couple who had their civil union dissolved, said: “In a way, it’s not necessarily a great thing to be celebrating… By the same token, I have been trying for years to take care of this but have not had an opportunity to live in a state that allowed that.”

The law in some states requires in-state residency in order to have a relationship dissolved. Such rules are strongly contended by LGBT rights groups.

“A lot of people kind of think if they went on vacation to Iowa or Massachusetts or New York and got married and came back to their state, that when they break up they can just go their separate ways,” said Martelon. “It’s not like that.”

Yim married Lorelei Jones in Massachusetts in 2009, where same-sex marriage is currently legal.

In a historic day for the US state of Colorado, Governor John Hickenlooper signed civil unions into law on 22 March, following several attempts to pass the legislation in recent years.

The law took effect on 1 May, and made Colorado the eighth state to legalise same-sex civil unions.