Elite Lawyer

Civil Unions Attorney Overview

Elite Civil Unions Attorney

Lawyer Assistance With Domestic Partnerships

Marriage provides couples with a wide variety of rights and legal protections, such as the right to ownership of mutual property and the ability to share insurance benefits. In some cases, domestic partners may prefer to enter into a civil union rather than getting married.

If you are considering a civil union, or if you are planning to end a relationship established through a civil union, a skilled family law attorney can provide the legal help you need. An experienced lawyer will help you understand your rights and ensure that you meet your legal requirements throughout the legal process.

Civil Unions Vs. Marriage

Prior to the 2015 Supreme Court decision which made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States, many state laws allowed same-sex couples to enter into a civil union, which provided them with a similar legal status to married couples. Today, same-sex partners are able to become legally married, but both same-sex and opposite-sex couples may choose a civil union rather than marriage, depending on the laws in their state.

Laws regarding civil unions vary from state to state, but these types of legal partnerships typically give couples most of the rights and responsibilities available to married spouses. These include:

  • The right to inherit property and take bereavement leave upon the death of one's partner.
  • Designation as next of kin for purposes of receiving medical information.
  • The right not to testify against one's partner in court.
  • The right to share employment benefits, such as health insurance.
  • Joint ownership of property, ensuring that assets are divided fairly and equitably following the end of a relationship.
  • Parental rights for children born or adopted during a civil union.
  • The ability to file taxes jointly.
  • The right to pursue financial support (alimony) following the end of a relationship.

Since civil unions are recognized under state laws, they can have implications for issues related to federal law, such as Social Security or Medicaid benefits. Couples in a civil union may wish to convert their partnership to a marriage to take full advantage of the benefits provided to married couples.

If couples in a civil union decide to end their relationship, they may be able to follow similar procedures to couples who choose to end their marriage through divorce, but their rights and the processes that must be followed can vary depending on state laws. In these cases, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help couples understand their rights and their legal requirements. A skilled lawyer can answer questions about civil unions and work to ensure that legal issues related to beginning or ending a relationship are addressed correctly.

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