Serving Clients in Cook County, DuPage County, McHenry County and Lake County
The laws in Illinois surrounding civil unions are rapidly changing. The Cook County civil union lawyers of Lois Kulinsky & Associates, Ltd. can help you understand your rights in Illinois, handle estate planning and tax issues, and help you with the termination of a civil union.
To learn more about civil unions in Illinois and our family law practice, contact our attorneys online. In a free, half-hour consultation, we can provide answers to your questions about civil unions.
What Is a Civil Union in Illinois?
A civil union is a legal relationship between two people. The partners can be either the same or opposite sex, cannot be related, cannot be in an existing marriage and must each be at least 18 years old.
At our firm, we can help you with all aspects of civil union law in Illinois, including:
- Dissolution or termination of civil unions
- Determinations of parentage and adoption
- Estate planning issues including setting up trusts and drafting wills
COBRA and Insurance Issues
While civil unions are recognized in Illinois, they are not recognized as marital relationships under federal law. For example, federal law does not recognize a non-employee partner for continuation of coverage under COBRA.
Under Illinois spousal continuation law, however, a party to a civil union is eligible to continue coverage for up to 12 months where an employee is terminated. Even if there is a termination of the civil union, a party to a civil union is eligible to continue coverage for up to two years. If the non-employee is over the age of 55, then the coverage can last until that person is eligible for Medicare.
Tax Issues for Couples in a Civil Union
There are also federal tax issues and concerns for parties to a civil union. For instance, health benefits for a non-employee partner will be treated as income and taxed to the employee, unless the partner qualifies as a dependant. Under Illinois law, those benefits are not taxable for state income tax purposes.
In a dissolution of a civil union, there are tax issues under Illinois law. In a divorce, division of the marital estate is not taxable to either party. However, this benefit is not extended to couples in a civil union. Additionally, maintenance and spousal support are taxable to the payee under Illinois and federal law.
Contact Our Illinois Termination Lawyers for a Free Consultation
To learn more about the termination of a civil union or your rights in a civil union in the Chicago metro area and throughout Illinois, contact our family law firm online. For your convenience, our main office is in Wheeling, and we also have an office in Libertyville. Free half-hour initial consultations are available for new clients.