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Civil Union Rights Questions

Civil unions, also known as civil partnerships are legal partnerships that can be compared to the more traditional marriage. The civil union was established in order to give same sex partners the rights and benefits that are given to different sex couples. Take a look at the questions below regarding civil unions that have been answered by Experts.

A same sex couple enters into a civil union in Vermont. The couple travels to Florida on vacation where an accident puts one partner in a coma on life support. Dr. wants to pull life support and will not give other partner rights to decide. Is there some way to change this?

All of the states that do not have same sex marriages, including Florida, have the right to refuse any recognition of this type of union for any reason. This includes purposes that fall under the Comity Clause of the US Constitution. In order to have the ability to make a choice such as this, you would need some form of document that states you have medical Power of Attorney. Without this, state and federal courts would not be able to assist you. Generally, the federal court deems this decision lies within the state court and will not get involved in a situation like this. It is a good practice for same sex couples to have documentation of a Power of Attorney and a contractual agreement in regards to the relationship and a will.

My civil union partner died and I am executor of the estate. They had a business as a sole proprietorship that needs to continue. What forms do I need besides a new Employer Identification Number (EIN) for the business (as the estate of...) to manage the business bank accounts? I already have letter testamentary and the death certificate. Do I need to register a new business certificate under "Estate of" for transactions until the business can be sold?

If your goal is to sell the business soon, the new EIN should be enough. However, if you think it may take a year or more you should register the business or have the registration amended as Estate of...as far as the ownership goes. Basically, the way you do this will depend upon how long you think it will take to liquidate the business. Your attorney can assist you in what steps to take with the business. An estate lawyer would be more appropriate for a smooth transition and liquidation.

My partner and I had separate wills drawn up and signed on November 12th, 2000. Subsequently, we entered into a legal Domestic Partnership on July 12th, 2004. We both own a half share of a house in Denville, New Jersey. The deed reads "tenants in common." Does the fact that a Civil Union was performed 7 years after my partner's will was signed; change my claim (as spouse) on the house?

The title of tenants in common will control the house. However, depending upon what is in each parties will, will determine the division of the home. A civil union doesn't matter in this situation. If you and your partner wish to ensure that the home will go to either of you in the event of the others death, you should change the title to Joint Tenancy with right to survivorship. This will guarantee that each of you will get the other partners share regardless of what the Wills say. A title can override what a person states in a Will. This is why attorneys stress the importance of titles when dealing with accounts and real estate. For example, if you and your partner owned your home in joint tenancy, but your partner Wills his/her share of the home to someone else, the Will cannot control and you would inherit your partner's share of the home.

My partner and I have split from a civil union and they have legally remarried a couple of years ago. We both live in MN. My new partner and I want to get married in Canada but to dissolve my previous union I would have to live in Vermont for one year. Any other way to get out of this being my former partner has remarried?

Without a divorce, your ex-partners marriage is void. You would have to file in Connecticut like any other married couple. There is no way to avoid the residency requirement. You could marry in Canada; however that would have to be a judgment call on your part because you would have to lie on the application. More than likely, your former partner had to do this as well in order to remarry.

Civil unions are common in today's society. With the ever growing acceptance of common law marriage and same sex marriages, civil unions tend to make more sense to many couples. Before you decide whether a civil union is the right choice for you, you should ask an Expert.

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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
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Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
4460311
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Recent Civil Union Questions

  • Hello, I need to know whether I need a legal divorce or not. Married

    Hello, I need to know whether I need a legal divorce or not.
    Married oct 18, 2014 via "Holy Union" (not a civil union) in colorado springs, CO in El Paso county.
    Husband lived with me a bit over a year
    We were known as a married couple by friends.
    Removed from my home oct 24 via temp. restraining order
    we do NOT have any credit cards, investment, banking or checking accounts in common (through there may be POD beneficiary on some accounts)
    We have no jointly-owned real estate.
    We do not file joint taxes.
    We each have separate health insurance.
    I am legally disabled.
    Questions:
    1. Are we "common law" married or not?
    2. Are we "civil union" married (ie is a "Holy Union" a form of civil union?
    3. What forms do I have to fill out to dissolve this partnership (dissolve, divorce, or whatever needed)
    Thank you very much!
    --K.
  • Hello, my wife and I have separated and mutually agree that

    Hello, my wife and I have separated and mutually agree that we should divorce. No kids, no property, it's all very civil. We were married in a Civil Union down in Mexico, but never applied for a marriage license here in Colorado (where we both continue to live). How legal is our marriage?

    Thanks,
    Shawn
  • Advice on dissolving a civil union in Vermont from 2004..where

    Advice on dissolving a civil union in Vermont from 2004..where other party walked out nov.2006...would like to legally marry in state of MA with partner of past 7 yrs....How do I do it without having to move to vermont for 6 months....
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