Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C.
Schaumburg Family Law Attorney

3 Differences Between Civil Unions and Marriage

July 27, 2017
Posted By: Robert M. Kaplan
young female couple smiling on couch

Although the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalized same-sex marriage in all states, many couples began their partnership as a civil union. If you are in a civil union, you might be wondering what the difference is between a civil union and a marriage.

If you are not officially married, it might be a good time to contact your civil union attorney in Hoffman Estates, Robert M. Kaplan, to ensure you and your partner have legal protections.

Civil Union vs Marriage

There are three significant differences between a civil union and a marriage.

  1. One of the most critical aspects of a civil union is the parties involved do not have the same federal protections afforded to married couples. Via federal law, married couples are granted the right to social security survivors’ and spousal benefits, federal spousal employment benefits, and the right to file tax returns jointly—just to name a few. These protections are denied to couples who are in a civil union, whether they are same-sex or opposite sex.
  2. Another difference is that couples in a civil union in one state might travel to another state only to find that union is not recognized there. If you are traveling or moving to another state, it might be worth considering taking legal precautions. A civil union attorney can draw up papers granting your partner the right to execute health care decisions or financial powers of attorney so you can carry them with you.
  3. Finally, there are the social and cultural implications of the terms “marriage” and “civil union.” This is an important aspect to both those who are in favor of and those who oppose gay marriage.

Call Your Civil Union Attorney in Hoffman Estates Today

In the state of Illinois, partners in a civil union do not have the same advantages as those in a marriage. Don’t risk losing the rights you and your partner should receive under the law! If you are currently in a civil union or have any questions about them, please get in touch with us online or give us a call. We can help you and your partner protect your rights. 

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