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Divorce & Separation Guidance for the LGBTQ Community

Providing Reliable Counsel for Couples Seeking Marital Solutions in Colorado Springs

In 2013, the Supreme Court deemed Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Also in 2013, Colorado recognized civil unions thus allowing individuals property rights, assets, debts and other benefits (e.g. retirement plans) that can be divided or transferred in a Colorado divorce or dissolution proceeding. Drexler Law in Colorado Springs provides high-quality, professional representation to the LGBTQ community in matters ranging from straightforward dissolutions or separations to the most complex and groundbreaking issues.

Call (719) 259-0050 today or contact us online to schedule a consultation with the Colorado Springs divorce lawyer at Drexler Law.

Can Any Marriage or Civil Union be Dissolved in Colorado?

A civil union created in Colorado or any other state, as well as a valid same-sex marriage performed in Colorado or any another state, is eligible for dissolution by the Colorado courts.

The dissolution of a civil union or same-sex marriage is quite similar to other dissolution of marriage actions; however, it is important to choose an attorney who understands and appreciates not only the legal differences and nuances but also the nonlegal circumstances, experiences, and challenges that exist in a civil union or same-sex marriage dissolution. For those interested in the dissolution of a civil union or same-sex marriage, we encourage you to review the resources applicable to both divorce and custody cases or contact Drexler Law for an initial consultation.

We have dedicated our time, focus and attention to each and every client, and we represent our clients by utilizing our experience and resources to provide aggressive and compassionate representation in the most contested cases.

Representing You in Mediation & Hearings

If the parties are unable to resolve their disputed issues prior to a Final Orders Hearing, Colorado family or domestic relations courts require the parties to attend a formal Mediation.

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process in which the parties explore settlement with the assistance of a neutral individual, referred to as a mediator. The mediator is not a legal representative of either party but an effective mediator typically has a legal background and is familiar with the various issues that arise in contested family law matters. Mediators do not have a vested interest in the outcome of the case and do not report to or even communicate with the court. Accordingly, the mediation process is intentionally designed to be confidential, during which the parties can candidly explore settlement of disputed issues by proposing solutions or compromises, which cannot be used against the party later in the proceedings. In fact, the settlement proposals offered to compromise a disputed claim are protected under the Colorado Rules of Evidence, which prevent a Court from admitting or considering any settlement statement when resolving the parties’ disputes in court.

If mediation results in a full agreement on all disputed issues, the case takes on a much different path, but the remaining steps are just as critical as preparing for a full contested hearing. After a successful mediation, a formal settlement agreement is typically prepared to memorialize or “paper” the agreement reached so there is no confusion or misinterpretation about the parties’ intended resolution. Also important is placing the agreement reached at mediation into a legally enforceable format that the Court will review and ultimately adopt as the court’s official order.

The outcome of a family law case is largely based on the background work and preparation your lawyer has devoted to your case. Some attorneys will spend a lot of time (and your money) on your case without actually preparing your case for an evidentiary hearing or full resolution. At Drexler Law, we devote ourselves to preparing a well-crafted presentation and preparing our clients for the full process. We apply the necessary resources and call upon our professional support staff in addition to any experts required in your case including financial experts, child care experts such as child and family investigators (CFIs), parental responsibility evaluators (PREs), guardian ad litems (GALs), and child legal representatives (CLRs), and property appraisers, among others.

If you work with Drexler Law, we will be personally committed to pursuing your objectives whether you have a relatively straightforward or complex legal issue to resolve. We are dedicated advocates for our LGBTQ clients finding themselves in same-sex marriages, dissolution of civil unions, or custody allocations. Our team understands that couples — regardless of gender — never plan to dissolve a serious or committed relationship. When you face this difficult time, we will be your advocate and a partner you can rely on in these trying times.

Understanding Health Care & Tax Consequences

Your lawyer should analyze individual benefit plan documents to understand if a spouse in a civil union or a marriage from another state can enjoy the benefits provided to spouses. This applies to private health plans and other benefit plans offered through employment or under the Affordable Care Act.

The recent Supreme Court ruling in United States vs. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013) means the federal government (and all federally supported benefit plans) now recognizes legally married gay couples as "married" for purposes of extending and receiving benefits as a "married" dependent or spouse. While it is a victory for same-sex couples, it is not as broad-sweeping as let on by our media outlets. Section 2 of DOMA allows states to deny recognition of same-sex marriages that originated in other states, territories or Indian tribes which isn't the case in Colorado.

Your lawyer should also understand the tax consequences of certain property transactions between parties. When a court dissolves a civil union, it is not technically the same as dissolving a marriage, so a property transfer between two unmarried partners to a civil union may be treated differently under the federal, state or local tax code than a property transfer between two married partners.

Get help with your LGBT divorce or separation in Colorado Springs by calling Drexler Law today. Dial (719) 259-0050 or contact us online.

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