Civil Unions are now a reality in the State of Colorado. The Civil Union is a relationship established by two eligible persons that entitles them to receive the benefits, protections and to be subject to the responsibilities of spouses. To form a Civil Union, both parties to propose Civil Union must complete a civil union application and at least one party must appear before the County Clerk and Recorder and pay the civil union license fee. The Civil Union license must be used within 35 days of issuance or it becomes void and one of the parties must return the Civil Union license to the County Clerk and Recorder cancellation. A Civil Union may be certified by a judge of a Court, by a District Court Magistrate, by a County Court Magistrate, by a retired judge of a court, by the parties to a Civil Union, or in accordance with any mode of recognition of a Civil Union by any religious denomination or Indian nation or tribe. Within 63 days after the date on which the Civil Union is certified, either the parties certifying the Civil Union or if no individual acting alone certifies the Civil Union, a party to the Civil Union shall complete the Civil Union certificate and return the certificate to the County Clerk and Recorder’s office that issued the license. Upon receiving the Civil Union certificate, the County Clerk and Recorder shall register the Civil Union. Parties to a Civil Union have the same rights as spouses, except they may not file joint tax returns for Federal or State purposes. There are significant real and personal property issues, personal injury issues, Workman’s Compensation issues, probate issues, unemployment benefit issues, adoption issues, retirement benefit issues, medical issues, to name but a few, which are effected by the Civil Union status. These are important rights you need to protect and my office would be happy to advise you as to these rights. Further, Civil Unions are subject to Dissolution, legal separation and declaration of invalidity statutes as well. In other words, a person in a Civil Union must follow the same procedures to dissolve the Civil Union as an individual going through a Dissolution of Marriage. This is further true for a Petition for Legal Separation or for a Declaration of Invalidity. My office can effectively and competently represent you with respect to your Dissolution of Civil Union, Petition for Legal Separation in your Civil Union or for a Declaration of Invalidity of your Civil Union. Please feel free to contact my office for a no cost initial consultation.