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Chicago Domestic Partnership Agreement Lawyers

The Importance of a Domestic Partnership Agreement

A domestic partnership is the relationship between two committed adults who live together but aren't married to each other or anyone else. Domestic partners have an exclusive mutual commitment and are devoted to each other's common welfare. They even share financial obligations like rent or monthly bills.

If you are involved in an unofficial domestic partnership and have no plans to get married, it may be in your best interest to pursue an official domestic partnership. The laws surrounding domestic partnerships can be confusing. It would be in the best interest for you and your partner to contact the experienced Chicago LGBT family law lawyers of Nottage and Ward, LLP at (312) 332-2915 to successfully guide you through the process.

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Benefits of a Domestic Partnership

There are a number of benefits to having an official domestic partnership. For example, under Chapter 2-152 of the Chicago municipal code, a qualified domestic partner can receive the same benefits coverage as a spouse, including health insurance benefits. A couple can pursue joint health benefits if they can attest that:

  • They are each other's only domestic partner and are responsible for each other's welfare.
  • Neither one of them is married.
  • They are not so related by blood. If the couple is related, they can't get married in Illinois.
  • They are adults.
  • Two of the following four conditions are true: they have either lived together for a year, they have a joint credit account, they have a joint checking account, they have a lease that identifies them both as tenants.
  • The domestic partner is the primary beneficiary in the employee's will

The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act gives all couples involved in a domestic partnership the same rights and legal responsibilities as married couples.

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Still an Option in Illinois

In the past, domestic partnerships were primarily used by same sex couples who wished to get married but weren't able to do so by state laws. Now that marriage equality is law, many same sex couples will likely get married to formalize their union instead of going for a partnership. However, some couples might still prefer a domestic partnership as a substitute for marriage. For example, people with no religious affiliation often want to declare their love and enjoy certain tax and other benefits without getting officially married.

Domestic partners in Illinois are able to cover each other with insurance protection. A partner can also request and receive paid sick leave if the other falls ill. When a couple is not legally partnered, they might have trouble receiving updated information from medical staff in the event of an injury or illness. Some couples who aren't officially married or partnered may struggle with legal rights in the event of death.

Anyone interested in a domestic partnership should seek out legal guidance. A Chicago family law attorney with experience handling domestic partnerships can help guide the couple through complex legal proceedings. Once your domestic partnership is registered, Illinois recognizes the status of the partnership the same way as a marriage. Please contact Nottage and Ward, LLP at (312) 332-2915 to find out how we can help you.

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Illinois Domestic Partnership Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for a consultation on your particular divorce matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of Illinois.

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