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In March 2013, the Colorado General Assembly passed SB-11, also known as the Colorado Civil Union Act. The passing of this act gave thousands of committed couples access to ‘critical legal responsibilities and protections.’

The Colorado Civil Union act is said to ‘provide many of the same rights and fulfillment of the same obligations associated with marriages.’ Ultimately, it addressed the state’s growing need to accommodate the all-inclusive definition of what constitutes a family in modern times. The bill went into effect on May 1st of this year.

On Civil Unions in Colorado

Civil unions, in general, are known as a ‘form of state-level relationship recognition that provides committed gay and lesbian couples with the critical legal obligations and protections they need to care for each other and their families.’

These couples, upon receiving a civil union in Colorado, gain several legal rights, including the following:

  • Assuming responsibility as a priority conservator, guardian and/or personal representative for a partner.
  • Taking leave (from work or studies) to care for a partner.
  • Making medical and/or end-of-life decisions for a partner, including hospital visitation rights.
  • Managing financial obligations/financial support for a partner.
  • Adopting children together with a partner.
  • Claiming survivor benefits under workers compensation laws/local government pensions.

The Colorado Civil Union Act now makes civil unions available to same-sex and different-sex couples within the state. Civil unions within Colorado also provide for the ‘dissolution, legal separation and/or declaration of the invalidity of a civil union.

Dissolution of a Civil Union in Colorado

Applicants are also advised to not to be in an already existing legal marriage or civil union with someone apart from soon-to-be spouse. In addition, applicants can’t be related through familial or blood relations.

The content of this page is for general informational purposes only, and should not be considered advice in your case.