Do Civil Unions Offer Any Benefits in Illinois?

 Posted on February 14, 2024 in Divorce

St. Charles, IL civil union divorce lawyerIllinois was the first state to recognize civil unions, and while civil unions have primarily been thought of as a way for same-sex couples to be legally protected, they are actually an option for any couple. Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Illinois, civil unions are somewhat less popular, but they do offer some state-level benefits. However, civil unions can also be complex to dissolve, much like a marriage.

An experienced Illinois civil union attorney can help you understand civil unions in more detail.

Civil Unions Versus Marriage

The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act gives details about civil unions, including details about what is protected at a state level by a civil union. It is important to note that a civil union is not the same as marriage, as civil unions only protect the legal rights of couples in the state of Illinois.

Items that are protected by an Illinois civil union include:

  • Property and inheritance rights

  • Healthcare decisions that couples make for each other

  • Legal protections for families

These rights are protected to ensure that all couples, regardless of gender, can receive fair and equal treatment in Illinois. However, the main difference between a civil union and a marriage is that a marriage is recognized at a federal level, which means that the legal protections of marriage are carried outside the state of Illinois. Likewise, couples who are married can file as “married” for tax purposes, while couples in a civil union cannot

Are Civil Unions Difficult to Dissolve?

Civil unions can be difficult to dissolve, as they often involve shared property or assets, and they may involve shared custody of a child. In some cases, spousal maintenance may be a part of a civil union dissolution, though this typically only occurs when one party has a substantially higher income than the other.

Because of the many moving parts involved in dissolving a civil union, guidance from an experienced lawyer is necessary to advocate for you, your rights, and your preferred child custody situation.

Contact a Kane County, IL Civil Union Attorney

Despite their slide in popularity in recent years, civil unions are still an option for many couples in Illinois, regardless of gender. If you decided on a civil union with your partner but find yourself needing to dissolve it, it is important that you reach out to a qualified St. Charles, IL divorce lawyer at Shaw Sanders, P.C. to understand your options and the next steps with dividing your assets and fairly dissolving your civil union.

Call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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