Two-income marriages have long been commonplace in Colorado. But many spouses, both men and women, choose to put a career on hold and stay at home to raise the children. When these couples divorce, the stay-at-home spouse is often fearful for their financial future. After a few years at home, they may need some time to get back into the work force. In many cases they will also need to pursue some additional education or training to get their skills up to date.
In July of 2014, a new Colorado statute took effect which revises the law regarding premarital and marital agreements - also known as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. The new law applies to all agreements entered into on or after July 1, 2014. Agreements entered into prior to that date will continue to be governed by the old law.
The fight for same-sex marriage rights in Colorado took a decisive turn earlier this month. On July 10, a Boulder County judge issued a ruling that allowed the Boulder County Clerk to continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. So far this month the clerk's office has issued 123 licenses for same-sex couples.
Colorado couples know that there are many things that can put severe strain on a marriage. One of the most stressful is serious or chronic illness. While sickness, like hard times, can bring some couples closer together, it can pull others apart. A recent study from the University of Michigan shows the seriousness of the problem. Almost a third - 31 percent - of marriages in which one partner is seriously ill are ended by divorce.
Colorado residents who've been through a divorce know that the financial adjustment can be a challenge, to say the least. This is especially so for a former spouse who elected to put a career on hold to stay home and care for the children. The story of one woman provides a good illustration of how tough it can be to reenter the workforce.
Many Colorado readers will remember British comedian John Cleese from his days with Monty Python. A few years ago Cleese hit the road with a stand-up act and called it "The Alimony Tour." He wasn't being entirely tongue-in-cheek; according to Cleese, he has had to do a lot of extra work to make spousal support payments to his former wife.
Colorado couples who are contemplating divorce can perhaps take heart from the recent news regarding the divorce of actress and comedian Jane Lynch and psychologist Lara Embry. Their divorce appears to offer confirmation that the marriage dissolution process doesn't have to be painful and acrimonious. Lynch and Embry recently finalized their split, and news reports indicate it was civilized and amicable. In fact, the two appear to have remained friends-they even spent some time with each other over the holidays.
The American family, in Colorado as everywhere else, is undergoing fundamental changes. Experts say they are surprised by how rapidly the traditional family has changed. And they say the changes are far from over. Some of these changes in the family may lead to changes in the way people end their marriages.
A lot of media attention has been given recently to the issue of gay marriage, especially after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its key rulings on the subject earlier this year. But from a practical perspective the issue of gay divorce at least as important - even if it is not as happy a subject as marriage.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinions on gay marriage late in June. In two opinions, the Court ruled the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and cleared the way for gay marriages to go forward in California.