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Domestic partnerships still offer many benefits

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For a variety of personal reasons, many Illinois residents are adamant about saying no to marriage. This group includes both opposite sex and same-sex couples. Regardless of the reasons why people eschew marriage, those who live in Illinois have other options to choose from to strengthen the legal side of the relationships. One of these options is forming a domestic partnership.

Those in a domestic partnership situation are unmarried couples who live together in a typically committed relationship. While many do not want to marry, they may desire some of the economic and employment advantages afforded to their married counterparts. Becoming domestic partners allows couples to enjoy certain benefits even though they are not legally married. Some of these benefits include:

-- Health, dental and vision insurance

-- Family and sick leave

-- Life insurance

-- Parental rights

-- Death benefits

-- State tax treatment

As in marriages, domestic partnerships also provide couples with personal benefits. The couple can enjoy the security of a committed relationship, the sense of family that such a union brings and the opportunity to plan their lives with someone they love. However, these partnerships can experience difficulties just like marriages do. To circumvent any disputes that may arise from these difficulties, many couples choose to put a domestic partnership agreement into place. This legal document can outline each party's financial and personal responsibilities while protecting the rights and interests of both parties.

As unromantic as it may sound, entering into any relationship means a certain degree of vulnerability. Seeking protection is not just a good idea, it can allow both of you to feel better and more secure about your relationship going forward. Please seek advice from an attorney if you want to learn more about domestic partnership agreements.

Source: FindLaw, "Domestic Partner Benefits," accessed May 20, 2016

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