What Is The Difference Between Marriage And A Civil Union?

With the long-overdue passing of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act in 2011, same-sex couples were finally granted many of the same legal privileges offered through marriage. Then in 2014, same-sex marriage was legalized. This provided couples with legal benefits such as:

  • The right to make health care and funeral decisions on behalf of a partner in the event of incapacity
  • Hospital visitation rights
  • Spousal coverage under employer-based health insurance plans
  • Inheritance rights and equal estate tax treatments
  • Equal application of state and local taxes

After the changes in the law, there is little difference between getting a civil union or getting married. Many same-sex couples have chosen marriage, and the number of civil unions granted has decreased since 2014.

With either, there may come a time when parties desire to dissolve their relationship. And doing so is no easier if you have a civil union or a marriage. That's why many same-sex couples are also interested in the protection of their rights before entering either a civil union or a marriage.

Contact Us To Learn More

At Hurst, Robin & Kay, LLC, our skilled attorneys have guided many individuals through prenuptial agreements and divorce involving a same-sex marriage. Please contact us at 312-782-2400 or send an email to arrange a consultation so that we can address your objectives and goals. Our lawyers work with individuals in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.