Schaumburg Civil Union Attorney
Schaumburg Same-Sex Partnership Attorney
At the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, our goal is to provide strong family law representation equally to everyone who requires our services. We take great pride in assisting both same-sex and heterosexual couples in taking advantage of their rights under the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act and in determining whether a marriage or civil union is best for their situation.
When you enter into a civil union, you have new rights and responsibilities, which you may need professional legal help understanding, including those related to property division, alimony, parental rights, and adoption. If you have questions or concerns about a civil union in Schaumburg, our knowledgeable attorney, Mr. Robert Kaplan, is available to help.
Our law office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and we have Saturday appointments available to those who need them. If you’d like to schedule a meeting with our family law attorney or want to learn more about your legal options, please call us today at (847) 845-9477.
- What is a civil union?
- What is the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act?
- Is same-sex marriage legal in Illinois?
- How are civil unions and marriages different?
- Do civil unions require a license?
- What if I am raising children in a civil union?
- Can I dissolve my civil union?
What is a civil union?
Civil unions are legal relationships that allow partners to make a formal, permanent commitment to one another without getting married.
In Illinois, both same-sex and heterosexual couples can enter into a civil union.
Individual states recognize civil unions within their borders. If you and your partner began your civil union in Illinois but then travel or move out of the state, your union likely won’t be recognized in many places.
Illinois civil unions share many similarities with marriages, but the two relationships are not the same and don’t always share the same privileges, specifically under federal law. If you have questions about your union and how it will affect your children, taxes, or other legal responsibilities, it’s a good idea to speak with a seasoned civil union attorney such as Mr. Robert M. Kaplan.
What is the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act?
In 2011, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. This Act expanded the rights and protections available to members of civil unions at a time when same-sex marriage was not yet recognized under Illinois law.
The Act helped numerous same-sex and heterosexual couples make formal, lasting commitments to each other outside of the scope of marriage. Many Illinois residents who still choose civil unions over marriages rely on the protections provided by the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act to this day.
Is same-sex marriage legal in Illinois?
Yes. The state of Illinois has legally recognized civil unions since June 1, 2011, and same-sex marriage since June 1, 2014.
Same-sex couples who wish to marry in Illinois may do so at any time, but they also have the option to enter into a civil union as an alternative.
If you and your partner are unsure about whether marriage or a civil union makes more sense for your family, our Schaumburg family law attorney offers free initial consultations for new clients.
How are civil unions and marriages different?
As we mentioned previously, each state has different laws regarding civil unions and the benefits, protections, and responsibilities offered under them. Illinois is one of only a handful of states in the country to recognize civil unions, which is why couples who begin a civil union in Illinois often face problems when they move to a state that does not uphold their civil union status.
Here in Illinois, the law treats civil unions very similar to marriage. On the state level, if you are a member of a civil union, you and your partner can expect to enjoy protections surrounding issues such as estate planning, property ownership, employment benefits, and healthcare rights.
The most significant difference to be aware of between civil unions and marriages is that federal law does not recognize civil unions. This lack of recognition means that parties to a civil union have no federal protections or benefits, and couples in a civil union cannot file joint tax returns or receive Social Security spousal benefits, among other things.
If you live in Illinois and are mostly concerned about your civil union only at the state level, you can rest assured that the government will treat your union as a marriage. When it comes to leaving the state or seeking financial support from the federal government, however, you will not have the same protections.
Do civil unions require a license?
Yes, just like with marriages, parties in a civil union must be of legal age and must obtain a license from their county clerk’s office.
The process for obtaining a civil union license is very similar to the process of getting a marriage license: both parties must present to the county clerk, pay a small fee, fill out an application while providing necessary personal information, prove their legal eligibility to enter into a civil union, and use the license within a prescribed number of days.
What if I am raising children in a civil union?
Raising children is challenging for everyone. As parents, we understand that.
As a law firm, we also understand the unique complexities that same-sex couples have to overcome to ensure their parental rights. Each member of a civil union has individual parenting rights under Illinois law, and they also share in joint parenting rights as a part of their civil union.
If you and your partner would like to adopt, there is a broad array of adoption options available that our Schaumburg civil union attorney can use to help you. From cases involving both spouses adopting a newborn to cases involving children from previous marriages and relationships, we can help you navigate your options and protect your rights.
Can I dissolve my civil union?
Yes. You can dissolve a civil union much in the same way that you can dissolve a marriage.
Partners in a dissolving civil union have many of the same challenges that divorcing couples have, which is where having an experienced family attorney on your side becomes an advantage.
If you are ending your civil union, there is a lot to think about. You may have concerns about how your property will be divided. Or, you may need to address issues of child custody and child support. You want to have all of your interests protected, and that is where we come in. Our experience allows us to navigate the state laws carefully and accurately to do what is best for you.
As a family law firm, much of the work we do is divorce work. If you are interested in dissolving a civil union, you can count on our experience to get you through the process with all of your rights intact.
Schedule a Civil Union Consultation with the Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan
Whether you’re considering a civil union, a marriage, or both, you and your partner can benefit from speaking with a lawyer who specializes in family law in Illinois. No matter what questions you have about civil unions and committed relationships, we can provide the answers you’re looking for.
To schedule your consultation with our Schaumburg civil unions attorney, please give us a call at (847) 845-9477!