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US: Colorado sets precedent with out-of-state civil union dissolution

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  1. David Henderson-Rinehart 31 Jul 2013, 6:03am

    I’m confused by the comment, “the legality of divorcing was unclear due to a patchwork of different standards from other states”, because giving same-sex couples the ability to divorce was explicit in our civil unions law that passed this March.

    In C.R.S. 14-15-116(1), “A relationship between two persons that does not comply with [our marriage amendment] but that was legally entered into in another jurisdiction is deemed in Colorado to be a civil union as set forth in this article.” Section 2 says pretty much the same thing, except that civil unions, domestic partnerships, and other similar relationships from other jurisdictions are also recognized as civil unions in Colorado.

    Then, in C.R.S. 14-15-107(4), “The law of domestic relations, including but not limited to … dissolution … applies to civil unions.”

    So I don’t think there was ever any doubt that same-sex couples who were married in other states could get divorced in our courts the same way an opposite-sex could.

  2. Adam Roham 31 Jul 2013, 8:52am

    In Canada after same-sex marriage was adopted country-wide, the Divorce Act was amended by Parliament to allow non-resident same-sex couples who married in Canada to get divorced under Canadian law. It became obvious to the Canadian government that a problem needed addressing after gay couples got married under Canadian law, and returned to their home countries only to find that thy couldn’t divorce because their home governments didn’t recognise their marriages.

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