Representing the Rights of Individuals Entering Into Civil Unions
In December of 2010, the Illinois Senate passed a new law — the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. This law will become effective June 1, 2011, and allows both same sex and opposite sex couples, ages 18 and up, to enter into a civil union. Many couples, who previously had only been considered to be involved in a domestic partnership, may benefit from this new law.
To further discuss your questions or concerns regarding civil unions, call the law firm of Sacks, Goreczny, Maslanka & Costello, P.C., at 312-957-8085 (toll free at 888-350-3265) or contact us online to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Chicago civil union law attorneys.
Rights According to the Law
Individuals who are partners in a civil union are now legally afforded certain state rights as a spouse would be in a marriage. Some of these rights include:
- The right to make health care decisions without being designated as the agent under a health care power of attorney
- The right to spousal coverage under employer-based health insurance plans
- The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit
- The right to receive inheritance without estate planning documents
- The right to refuse to testify against a partner
- The right to have hospital visitation when visitation is limited to family
However, due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, partners in a civil union still cannot file joint federal tax returns, receive Social Security survivor's benefits or receive any other federal benefits granted to a spouse.
Dissolving Civil Unions
Like some marriages, a civil union may not last. In this situation, there may be issues that need to be addressed, as there are in a divorce. Child support, child custody, property division and spousal support are just some of the matters that a Chicago, Illinois, civil union lawyer at our firm can handle as a civil union ends.
Pre-Civil Union Agreements
Just like a Prenuptial Agreement, before entering into a civil union, the parties can have a written agreement addressing their rights and obligations to the other. This is important since the law in this area is new and not yet interpreted by the courts. To learn more about pre-civil union agreements, contact one of our Cook County civil union attorneys at 312-957-8085.
Staying Current on the Law
Since civil union law is a new area of law in Illinois, our firm is dedicated to staying up-to-date on any changes that may be made to the law. We will work closely with our clients to ensure that the solutions to their issues are made in accordance with the laws, the client's goals and the client's wishes.
Helping Clients Know Their Rights
Let us help you understand how a civil union may benefit you and your partner. Get in touch with a Chicago civil union law attorney at our office today by contacting us online or calling 312-957-8085.
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