Colorado Welcomes Civil Unions

The Colorado Civil Union Act passed the Senate and is currently pending approval from Governor John Hickenlooper.  Governor Hickenlooper is expected to sign the civil unions bill into law in a public ceremony on March 21, 2013.  Portions of the Act will go into effect May 1, 2013 and the remaining portions will be effective January 1, 2014.

Colorado Civil Union Act is designed to provide the same protections and benefits currently reserved for spouses to other eligible couples.  An “eligible couple” means that both parties are adults (regardless of gender), neither is a party to another civil union and neither is married. The eligible couples will still need to apply for a civil union license with the county clerk and recorder – a similar procedure to the marriage certificate.

The new protections and benefits include financial benefits, legal protections, inheritance rights, visitation rights, and medical treatment decisions among others.

Civil unions will also be subject to the same domestic relations laws as a married couple, meaning they will have to go through similar divorce and parental allocation proceedings to terminate a civil union. Colorado attorneys practicing family law will need to familiarize themselves with the new application to civil unions. Arnold & Arnold attorneys will be attending and teaching upcoming seminars on the subject.

Stay tuned for more information on this brand new law!

Arnold & Arnold – Family Law

Kelley G. Shirk, Esq.