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mmdesq, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 518
Experience:  Attorney with 13 years experience.
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I have a couple questions and am wondering if you are able

Customer Question

I have a couple questions and am wondering if you are able to help me or can refer
me to someone who can. First I am divorced after 17 yr of marriage and I have a
female partner now. We would like to have a civil union or something where we
can have our relationship recognized by my employer to sign her up for benefits
as well as be eachothers medical decision makers if need be. The reason we do
not want to get married is because we both want to be able to collect our ex
husbands social security benefits when the time comes. Does this sound like
something that is possible since the domestic partnership law has changed in WA state and neither of us are 62 years old?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

Good Evening,

I will try to best answer your question.

You do not have to be married or have a civil union to be able to make medical decisions for each other. This can be accomplished through a a reciprocal durable healthcare power of attorney. You have the right to collect one half of the amount of ex spouses Social Security or your own if you were married for more than 10 years. You do not automatically lose this right if you enter into a civil union. Hence I don not see this as being a major issue.

The most difficult part of your question is obtaing benefits through employer. The only way to accomplish this is to marriage or civil union. Still an exception I'm aware of is with unions. Union sometimes allow an affidavit of common law marriage.

I hope this information devices helpful and I wish you the best of luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
washigton state doesnt have common law marriage. how do we get a civil union certificate? or does wa state do that?
Expert:  mmdesq replied 1 year ago.

I was unsure with you possibly resided in another state that may have common law marriage you could assert was created. If you wish to pursue a civil union I would advise to contact the County Clerk's office in the county in which you resigned to request the application information.