What is a civil union?
A civil union is a legally recognized and protected joinder of two people. Civil unions can be entered into by both heterosexual and same-sex couples, and the union provides legal rights similar to those found in marriage.
After the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage would be legally available to all same-sex couples.
Benefits of Civil Unions
Prior to this ruling, however, civil unions existed largely to grant many protections to same-sex couples that, at the time, were only available to married couples. Civil unions were and are available to both same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples in select states, including Illinois. Just as in a marriage, individuals who enter into a civil union are subject to the benefits, protections, and requirements of the laws of the state in which they live.
Marriage vs. Civil Union
In Illinois, spouses in a marriage are granted federal protections under the law, such as the option of filing joint federal tax returns or the ability to collect Social Security spousal benefits. Spouses in a civil union, however, are not granted these privileges. Depending on your individual circumstances, a civil union may or may not be more appropriate than a marriage.
Deciding whether a civil union is right for your situation can be a complicated and difficult decision. To help you understand more about civil unions in Schaumburg, IL, contact attorney Robert Kaplan at (847) 845-9477.