At Martin Law Office LLC, our attorneys handle a variety of family law matters, to include aspects of divorce, dissolution, separation, allocation of parental responsibilities (i.e. child custody), post-divorce matters, protective orders, parental rights determinations, as well as grandparent rights matters. We recognize all of these matters are extremely personal and likely to be very stressful and emotional, and we do our best to help alleviate some of that stress. Our attorneys strive to resolve family law matters with as little conflict as necessary, to the extent possible, as this helps reduce the emotional strain on all members of the family and reduce the overall cost. Of course, not all matters can be resolved with minimal conflict and in those instances our attorneys are quite capable of litigating the matter to the Court.
LGBTQ FAMILY LAW
At Martin Law Office LLC, we focus on the needs of same-sex couples and the laws affecting LGBTQ rights, which are rapidly evolving. We diligently keep pace with new and proposed legislation, as well as judicial opinions, on both state and national levels. As members of the LGBTQ community, we work not only to serve the individual members of the LGBTQ community but also to further the advancement and expansion of their legal rights. Our attorneys can assist you with a variety of family law matters, including:
Legal Marriage: Based on various court decisions, including a decision from a Colorado state court ruling that the state amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, Colorado same-sex couples can currently legally marry. Their marriage is recognized by the federal government and 34 states plus the District of Columbia.
Civil Union: Colorado law allows same-sex couples to form a Civil Union which offers many of the state level protections of marriage. A Civil Union is not recognized under federal law and is not recognized in most states. Our attorneys can advise you on the advantages, as well as the possible ramifications, of entering a Civil Union in light of your personal situation.
Deemed to be in a Civil Union – Under Colorado’s Civil Union Act, couples that formed a legally recognized relationship, which is substantially similar to a civil union but less than marriage, in another state, are automatically deemed to be in a Colorado Civil Union. This would include same-sex couples that formed civil unions or entered into registered domestic partnerships in one of the states that allows those relationships. Our attorneys are available to discuss your personal situation with relation to being deemed to be in a Civil Union.
Pre-Civil Union and/or Pre-nuptial Agreement – Pursuant to the Colorado Civil Union Act, same-sex couples can now enter into Pre-Civil Union Agreements, which modify the terms of their Civil Union. These agreements are similar to a Pre-nuptial Agreement. Our attorneys are available to assist you with either a Pre-Civil Union or Pre-nuptial Agreements.
Colorado Domestic Partnership Agreement – If a couple has not and does not wish to enter into a Civil Union or marriage, they can issue a Domestic Partnership Agreement, which is an enforceable written agreement that will go into effect if the relationship later ends. We understand that it is difficult to discuss a possible end to your relationship at some point in the future; however, it is the best way to protect the interests of both individuals. It is possible that a Civil Union and/or a marriage is not the best answer for your family, or perhaps you simply do not wish to form either of those relationships. In those circumstances and others, it is still necessary to take steps to protect the interests of both individuals in the relationship. A Domestic Partnership Agreement may be just the tool for your family’s needs.
Dissolution of Relationships – Same-sex couples can now dissolve either a Civil Union or a marriage through divorce proceedings. However, because Civil Unions are not recognized under federal law and are not recognized in many other states, there are a variety of considerations that must be kept in mind during the dissolution process. At Martin Law Office LLC, we strive to help you navigate the issues surrounding the end of your relationship with as little conflict as possible.
Designated Beneficiary Agreement – As discussed in the Estate Planning section of this site, this is a significant family planning and estate planning tool. LGBTQ couples can utilize this Agreement to designate the person who will make decisions for them in the case of emergency or death. The rights conveyed by this document are significant and legal advice is strongly recommended before entering into these agreements. Additionally, a Civil Union will void any previously executed Designated Beneficiary Agreement where one of the parties to the Civil Union is involved.
Adoption, Second-Parent Adoption and Step-Parent Adoption – Please see our Family Planning for Same-Sex Couples practice area for more information on these options and contact our attorneys for assistance.