Much of this blog is dedicated to marriage and divorce issues. However, couples do not necessarily have to be married in order to face family law issues and seek to protect themselves in the event of a breakup. Tucson residents may be interested to know that they may be able to file for a civil union, which could help them establish the parameters of their relationship.
In order to file for a civil union, certain requirements must be met. Essentially, the two partners cannot be blood-related in a way that would render a marriage void, cannot be married to any other person or be in a domestic relationship with anyone else, must be 18 years old, and must declare that they are the other's sole partner for purposes of civil union. Additionally, the parties must be competent enough to enter into the terms of a contract, share a residence, and state that they intend to mutually support each other indefinitely into the future.
Though many think that civil union membership is restricted to gay and lesbian couples, this is not true. Anyone who meets the qualifications mentioned above can enter into a civil union. But why would you want to do so? There are several reasons, but one of the most important would be to establish a contract that would address family law issues in the case of a breakup. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, these contracts can address issues involving property and other rights and obligations owed to each other.
Civil unions and issues involving domestic partners can get complicated, especially when disputes arise. For this reason, the services of an experienced family law attorney may be beneficial both in drafting agreements and in resolving any issues that may arise in the case of a breakup.
Source: City of Tucson, "City of Tucson Civil Union Registration Instructions," accessed on Feb. 8, 2015