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Civil Union

Civil Union

Civil Union is a legal status available to same-sex couples. At the present time, New Jersey, and Illinois are the only states that recognize this new legal status. Civil Unions will also be available in Hawaii as of January, 1 2012. Civil Unions in the past were often were referred to as Vermont Civil Unions.  Civil Unions were first recognized in Vermont.
A couple wishing to terminate a civil union must file a civil union dissolution proceeding in family court that follows the same procedures, and applies the same laws, as a married couple going through a divorce. We suggest you consult a lawyer before making any decisions weather a Civil Union is the right choice for you and your partner.

Some benefits derived from a Civil Union are:

Civil Unions allow automatic inheritance rights without having to get a will, and broad protections for the surviving partner under the probate laws.

Civil Unions allow right to dispose of partner's bodily remains upon death.

Civil Unions allow preference for becoming partner's guardian if a partner is incapacitated.

Civil Unions allow preference for making healthcare decisions without having to execute a Power of Attorney.

Civil Unions allow right to visit in the hospital.

Civil Unions allow wrongful death cause of action if partner is killed in an accident.

Civil Unions allow loss of consortium claim if partner is injured due to another's negligence.

Civil Unions allow exemptions from property transfer tax when one person puts his or her partner's name on the deed.

Civil Unions allow right to hold property as tenants by entirety, protecting property from some creditors.

Civil Unions allow communication privileges, so partners cannot be forced to testify against the other

Civil Unions allow leave from work to care for an ill partner under family medical leave laws.

Civil Unions allow leave from work when one's partner gives birth to or adopts a child under parental leave law.

Civil Unions allow rights as a stepparent for a child of the other partner.

Civil Unions allow protection from discrimination in insurance and credit (to get, for example, joint car insurance).

Civil Unions allow greater access to health insurance coverage to partners in a civil union.

Civil Unions allow potential responsibility to provide support (alimony) to the other partner upon dissolution.

We suggest you consult a qualified lawyer before making a decision weather a Civil Union is the right choice for you and your partner.


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