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
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.
derived from a Civil Union are:
allow automatic inheritance rights without having to get a will, and
broad protections for the surviving partner under the probate laws.
allow right to dispose of partner's bodily remains upon death.
allow preference for becoming partner's guardian if a partner is
allow preference for making healthcare decisions without having to
execute a Power of Attorney.
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.
allow exemptions from property transfer tax when one person puts his
or her partner's name on the deed.
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
allow leave from work to care for an ill partner under family
medical leave laws.
allow leave from work when one's partner gives birth to or adopts a
child under parental leave law.
allow rights as a stepparent for a child of the other partner.
allow protection from discrimination in insurance and credit (to
get, for example, joint car insurance).
allow greater access to health insurance coverage to partners in a
allow potential responsibility to provide support (alimony) to the
other partner upon dissolution.
suggest you consult a qualified lawyer before making a decision
weather a Civil Union is the right choice for you and your partner.
Contact a lawyer in your local