What is Included in a Civil Union Agreement?
When two people are in a civil union, it is a bit like a marriage because the couple has a legal relationship with one another. While the relationship is acknowledged, it is different from a marriage in several ways. Those in a civil union may have access to state benefits, but not federal benefits. For example, if one person in the relationship has passed away, the other person would not be entitled to receive spousal benefits simply because they were in a civil union and not a marriage. Same-sex couples are often in civil unions, especially in states where same-sex marriage has not been legalized. If you are in a civil union with your partner, you should consider having a civil union agreement in place to protect your legal interests.
Allocation of Property and Other Assets
Although you may expect to spend the rest of your life with your partner, feelings can change, people can grow apart, and relationships can come to an end. If your civil union does come to an end and you decide to split with your partner, you are going to want to know where your property is going, especially if you are entering the civil union with valuable assets. By having a civil union agreement in place before officially joining with your partner, you can make it clear that you would like to keep some of your assets if the relationship does not work out. If your partner agrees to this, you may both sign the agreement before moving forward in the relationship.
Your civil union agreement can include details about spousal support, too. If the relationship does not work out, you may agree to providing your former spouse with a certain amount of money each month that would be known as spousal support. It is often provided to the lesser-earning spouse by the other partner. For example, you may be the breadwinner in the relationship while your partner currently stays home and takes care of your young children. If the relationship ends, your partner would likely not have the funds to support him or herself, provide for the children, or do much of anything financially, and that is when spousal support would be necessary.
Not only can your civil union agreement cover spousal support if the relationship ends, but it can also cover the amount of money you would like your partner to receive if you passed away. You may want to make sure your partner receives enough money to cover the cost of living and assorted expenses for the children if you were not around any longer because of an unexpected death.
Let a Lawyer Help You
Before getting into a civil union with your partner, meet with a lawyer to have a civil union agreement created. The agreement can cover some of the most important topics, including the allocation of property if the relationship does not work out and the amount of spousal support an individual will receive if the relationship ends or if the partner passes away unexpectedly. Because it is so important to have an agreement before getting into a civil union, you should get in touch with Giro Law today. Call our office at 201-690-1642 to discuss your situation.