Some couples may be hesitant to get married under traditional procedures. There may be many reasons for this, such as religious reasons and financial considerations. For example, a couple’s legal marital status can affect other areas of life, such as access to medical care, retirement benefits, tax consequences, and citizenship/immigration. Here are some common alternatives to marriage:
First of all, you should understand that not all of these options are available in every state or to every couple. Also, there may be various requirements associated with each option. For example, Washington State only offers domestic partnerships to couples in which one individual is over 62.
One major concern with traditional marriage alternatives has to do with medical benefits and hospital visitation rights. For some alternatives, a person can visit their partner who has been admitted to a hospital, while that right is not available for people in other domestic arrangements.
Another concern has to do with the transfer of certain work-related benefits, such as retirement plans or company vacation packages.These can sometimes be transferred to the other partner, depending on their legal marital status.
One important thing to note is that some alternatives to marriage may not be recognized in other U.S. states or countries. There are also some federal benefits that are extended only to married couples.
Thus, you may wish to conduct some research into the various legal rights and limitations associated with each traditional marriage alternative. Generally speaking, the more the couple is treated as if they were legally married, the more rights and protections they will be afforded under state and local laws.
If you are considering an alternative to marriage that is available in your state, you may wish to consult a family law attorney. A lawyer can help determine what your rights and options are under the law for your current and potential domestic situation, and can represent you in court if necessary.
Last Modified: 04-24-2018 08:50 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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