Domestic Partnership in Illinois
In the state of Illinois, a domestic partnership is defined as an arrangement between two committed adults who share the same residence. It is not considered a marriage, but it does offer many of the same legal benefits, especially in regards to insurance and tax regulations. If you are in a devoted relationship, but don’t want to consider marriage, read the following information to learn more about domestic partnerships.
Do You Need the Protection of a Domestic Partnership?
For many couples, a domestic partnership is a more favorable, secular alternative to marriage. If you and your loved one are not married, you may not be able to make decisions in the event of a medical emergency or death. If your partner falls ill, you will not be able to receive paid sick leave under current laws. These issues can have disastrous consequences, but entering into a domestic partnership can prevent them from occurring.
Insurance and Tax Benefits
In many jurisdictions, such as Chicago, local laws allow individuals to enroll a domestic partner in his or her health plan. Under Chicago municipal codes, domestic partners may share health benefits as long as they meet a certain set of requirements. Insurance regulations may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you should be sure to check local laws first.
Entering into a domestic partnership can also provide both partners with certain tax benefits. These benefits are usually related to tax rates, and they can be especially helpful in regards to inheritances and estates. In the event of a death, the surviving partner may be subject to considerable taxes if he or she was involved in a relationship that was not formalized.
A Secular Alternative to Marriage
Unlike a marriage, a domestic partnership does not involve religious rituals. Under the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, individuals bound by a domestic partnership are entitled to the same rights and privileges as married individuals. This simply means that you will be able to reap the legal benefits of a marriage, without having to participate in a religious ceremony.
Consult a Legal Professional
Regardless of your reasons for entering a partnership, you will more than likely need legal assistance. Laws governing relationships can be fairly complex, especially if you do not have legal experience. For more information on domestic partnerships in Illinois, please contact Nottage and Ward, LLP. We can be reached at (312) 332-2915.
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