It seems that another landmark in same-sex partner rights has been reached in a very public way, and this one isn’t a positive one. Country-rock singer Melissa Etheridge is involved in a custody and property battle with her ex-partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels. This argument is long and bitter, even in question is the couple’s status as married partners. One thing is certain: their attorneys will have a great deal to sort out, and all over the nation, divorce and family law attorneys will be watching closely.

The issue of same sex unions is (perhaps unfortunately) fairly new to the landscape.  In Colorado, same-sex domestic partnerships have only been recognized since 2009, and then only in a limited capacity.  Because of this, when same sex couples split up, there can be a great deal of confusion about how to navigate the murky waters of family law.

Fortunately, Castle Rock family law attorneys can handle these sorts of issues. Designated beneficiary agreements in Colorado grant limited rights to same-sex partners, and the details of these rights can be sketchy and complex. Until the day comes when full civil unions or marriage are recognized, it’s important to have someone around who can spell out the couple’s specific rights in these situations.

It’s perhaps unfortunate that in the Etheridge-Michaels battle the issue of the legitimacy of their union has been brought up, and not even by the courts: Michaels has issued this challenge.  This sort of thing can only hurt the future of same-sex benefits, and damage what has already been a long and hard-fought battle by civil rights groups. It serves to illustrate the sort of selfish and damaging attitudes that come up during divorce suits—such tactics can be brutally effective in court cases and are exactly the reason why you should have a good Castle Rock divorce attorney at your side.