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Family & Divorce Law

Case in Adams County Brings Big Changes to Family Law

By Tolison & Williams / August 25, 2016

District Court ruling eventually led to legalized same-sex marriage in Colorado

The controversy surrounding same-sex marriage has put Adams County in the state and, at times, national spotlight for the effect the county has had on bringing about important changes to Colorado family law. A District Court ruling in Adam's County eventually led to the state's ban on same-sex marriage being declared unconstitutional, according to The Denver Channel. The state's attorney general had tried to halt marriage licenses being issued to same-sex couples following the ruling by an Adams County judge. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision means marriage licenses will now be issued to same-sex couples throughout Colorado.

Adams County court case

Earlier this year, a District Court case in Adams County led a judge to declare Colorado's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. As a result, county clerks in Adams and Denver Counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in those counties.

The issuance of marriage licenses was short lived, however. As KDVR reported, soon after the Adams County case the state attorney general asked the Colorado Supreme Court to halt the issuance of marriage licenses in Adams and Denver Counties. That stay was granted until the constitutionality of Colorado's same-sex marriage ban could be resolved by a higher court.

U.S. Supreme Court

The issue was finally resolved when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from five states where lower courts had ruled those states' same-sex marriage bans were unconstitutional. The court did not give any comments for refusing the appeals, but the action effectively means that the rulings of those lower courts now stand.

Although Colorado was not among the five states to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling means that same-sex marriage bans throughout the country, including in Colorado, are now effectively considered unconstitutional. Soon after the court's decision, the Colorado Supreme Court lifted the injunction on same-sex marriage licenses in Adams and two other Colorado Counties. The state attorney general then ordered county clerks throughout Colorado to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who applied for them.

Changes in family law

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision marks an important moment in the evolution of family law throughout the country. People in Adams County can take some pride, as well, in knowing that they played a significant role in this piece of history.

As family law continues to change, it is important for anybody who has a pressing family law concern, like questions about divorce, child custody, and spousal support, to get in touch with an experienced Adams County family law attorney. A qualified attorney can help guide clients through the often complicated and changing world of the law and explain how recent changes and court decisions may affect their families.

Tags: Family Law

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