Difference Between Domestic Partnership and Marriage

IL divorce lawyerMan couples and individuals get confused about the differences between domestic partnership and marriage; the two are definitely not one and the same. While domestic partnership certainly offers legal benefits to a couple, it does not provide the same financial and legal benefits that marriage provides. If you are thinking about entering a domestic partnership or marriage and have questions, or you are planning to divorce or terminate your domestic partnership, call a Hinsdale divorce attorney for help.

Domestic Partnership Benefits

Domestic partnerships were originally created by states to allow some legal benefits to same-sex couples before same-sex marriage was legalized. Now, same-sex couples and different-sex couples get married as well as enter domestic partnerships. Some of the benefits of a domestic partnership include the following:

  • Receiving healthcare benefits under a spouse’s employer-sponsored group plan. Many employers across the country are actually doing away with this benefit, but in Illinois, it is required of employers to offer the same health benefits to domestic partnerships that they offer marriages, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance
  • Being able to receive medical updates and information of a sick or injured partner in the hospital
  • The state of Illinois gives domestic partnerships the same legal benefits that a married couple has

Marriage Benefits

  • Roth IRA can roll over to the other spouse when one dies
  • Unlimited tax-free gifting between spouses
  • Federal healthcare benefits
  • Marriage is recognized in all states and countries, unlike domestic partnerships
  • Married couples automatically inherit the deceased spouse’s assets if there is no will
  • Ability to file joint federal income tax returns

Terminating a Domestic Relationship in Illinois

Just like marriages, domestic relationships do not always last. If a couple decides to terminate the relationship, they must file an affidavit of termination with the court. The domestic partnership is not over once the paperwork is turned in; there is a 30 day waiting period before the relationship is actually terminated legally. This process becomes much more complicated if the couple has children or shared property, as there will be custody and property division issues that must be resolved with a lawyer.

A Hinsdale Family Law Attorney Can Help Terminate Your Domestic Partnership

There are some major differences between marriage and domestic partnership, the largest being the tax avoidance and other benefits that marriage provides at the federal level. Yet, divorcing spouses and separating domestic partners face some of the same issues, however, particularly when it comes to child custody, child support, and asset division. To speak with a skilled DuPage County family law attorney at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, call 630-920-8855 today to set up a free consultation.





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