Difference between domestic partner and civil union
A domestic partnership is an interpersonal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life, but are not married to each other or to anyone else. People in domestic partnerships receive benefits that guarantee right of survivorship , hospital visitation, and others. The term is not used consistently, which results in some inter-jurisdictional confusion. Some jurisdictions, such as Australia , New Zealand , and the U. Other jurisdictions use the term as it was originally coined, to mean an interpersonal status created by local municipal and county governments, which provides an extremely limited range of rights and responsibilities. Some legislatures have voluntarily established domestic partnership relations by statute instead of being ordered to do so by a court.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What is DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP? What does DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP mean?
These civil unions are available to opposite sex and same sex couples. A civil union allows a couple's relationship to be legally recognized. A civil union grants same sex couples the ability to enter into a legally recognized relationship that gives them the same fundamental rights that are granted to traditional married couples.
It provides each partner in a gay marriage with legal rights similar to the rights granted to spouses in traditional marriages. A domestic partnership often only gives same sex spouses limited financial rights. These rights include the ability to receive certain pension and health insurance benefits and file joint state tax returns. Domestic partners may be able to register a domestic partnership at the local level in some cites or counties.
Same-sex marriage in some states allows a marriage to be legally recognized between two spouses of the same gender. Same sex marriage grants the same rights and benefits under state law as traditionally married couples, such as tax relief, application of family laws, decision-making power in medical emergencies, inheritance rights, state spousal benefits, and spousal privilege in court testimony.
The primary difference between traditional marriage and same-sex marriage is that same-sex marriage doesn't offer federal benefits and protections to spouses. The federal Defense of Marriage Act DOMA permits states to decide whether or not to recognize a same-sex union that is recognized in another state.
However, same-sex marriage is not recognized at the federal level. Federal benefits don't apply to same sex marriages, including Social Security benefits, health insurance, veterans' benefits, Medicaid, estate taxes, hospital visitation, pension benefits, retirement savings, family leave, and immigration policy.
Differences between a civil union and a domestic partnership will vary by state law. Domestic partners often have more limited rights than in a civil union. In New Jersey, for example, a civil union creates more shared responsibility for debt and more shared rights to property. Currently, the Internal Revenue Service is not recognizing same sex marriage or a same sex civil union.
This means that the couple is not eligible to receive the federal benefits that are based on marriage or file a joint federal tax return.
Those entering into a civil union do not receive the same rights that are afforded to people in a traditional marriage. While state laws vary, a civil union will not be recognized and entitled to protection under federal laws. However, a civil union typically grants more rights than a registered domestic partnership. TopTenReviews wrote "there is such an extensive range of documents covering so many topics that it is unlikely you would need to look anywhere else".
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Domestic Partnership and Civil Union Forms
Several states have expanded the legal rights available to spouses in same-sex relationships through civil unions and domestic partnerships. All of the states that allow for civil unions or domestic partnerships now also allow for same sex marriage, either through statute or court ruling. These forms shall require the signature and seal of an acknowledgment by a notary public to be binding and valid. This prohibition does not apply if the previous domestic partnership ended because one of the partners died. The general assembly declares that a second purpose of the act is to protect individuals who are or may become partners in a civil union against discrimination in employment, housing, and in places of public accommodation.
Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions
The ongoing debate playing out in California courtrooms over the validity of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, has sparked debate over how marriage is defined. In the United States, there are several types of legally recognized monogamous relationships, with some granting couples — gay or straight — more rights than others. Civil unions, also known as registered partnerships and civil partnerships, were first offered in the United States by the state of Vermont in , according to the U. Office of Legislative research. In , Vermont had become the first state to extend health benefits to domestic partners. Civil unions permit gay couples to declare themselves as each other's "reciprocal beneficiaries," which provides them the equivalent of a spouse's rights to hospital and nursing home visitation. Other civil union benefits can include the ability to access their partner's medical information and to make some personal decisions on each other's behalf. However, civil unions differ from marriages in that they aren't recognized by the federal government, and under the Defense of Marriage Act of DOMA , other U. DOMA defines marriage as "a union between one man and one woman," under federal law, according to the U.
How Do Marriages, Unions and Domestic Partnerships Differ?
Hodges in , some states allowed same-sex marriage, while others acknowledged a legal relationship between same-sex partners only through civil unions or domestic partnerships. While same-sex spouses now have many of the same rights and benefits as opposite-sex couples e. In many states, domestic partnerships have been a means of providing rights to same-sex couples during a time when same-sex marriage was not legal. Most registered domestic partners have been same-sex couples who live together.
Civil Unions vs Domestic Partnerships