unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?

unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?

Domestic Partnership: Is It For You?

Arthur Young

If you and your partner are choosing to live together without the benefit of marriage, you are part of a burgeoning movement. More couples than ever are forgoing marriage vows and simply living with each other. If you prefer this casual arrangement, however, you should strongly consider taking steps to make your relationship legal. Instead of a marriage certificate, you might want to explore a domestic partnership agreement to help protect your rights when it comes to the legal ramifications of a committed relationship. To learn more about domestic partnerships, read on.

Locations that recognize domestic partnerships

For those living in the below areas, you can expect to receive some of the same benefits that legally married couples do.

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • New York City
  • San Francisco

Protections afforded by domestic partnerships

If you live in one of the above locations, you can expect:

  • To be covered by your partner's healthcare coverage
  • To have eligibility for the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • To be eligible for public assistance programs, like food stamps and housing
  • To be afforded next-of-kin status for visitation and medical information purposes.
  • To have beneficiary privileges for retirement plans
  • To be able to file jointly for state tax return.

Federal status

Unfortunately, domestic partnership agreements are not recognized federally, which means that you are not eligible for Social Security benefits from your partner's earnings nor can you file federal tax returns jointly.

Domestic partner benefits without residency restrictions

Major corporations recognize and provide valuable benefits to domestic partners, regardless of what state or municipality you live in. You should be prepared to provide proof of your domestic partnership to reap the benefits, (such as health insurance), like a lease or mortgage in both names.

Other points to consider

  • To address real estate issues, explore ownership and deed categories like joint tenancy and joint ownership.
  • If you have children, you may want to legally adopt a child that is not your biological off-spring. In the event that your relationship ends, adoption could provide you with a legal standing for custody and visitation issues.
  • For estate planning purposes, ensure that your will provides for your domestic partner specifically, no matter where you live. Among the states that recognize domestic partnership status, some states apply community property laws, which enable automatic inheritances, and some do not.

No matter where you live, a private domestic partnership agreement could be beneficial to help address day to day and financial issues, such as "who pays what bill" and "what debts belong to who." Contact a family lawyer to help you and your partner craft an agreement that serves as a legal bond for your relationship.


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unlawful employment termination - what's your next step?

Have you recently been let go from your job? Do you feel that the termination was illegal in any way? It is time for you to stand up to unfair employment practices by your former employer. An employment attorney helped me get through an impossible time more easily. I had no idea how serious the repercussions for terminating my position could be for the company, nor did I know how much the company would owe me for doing so. Thankfully, the attorney took the time to answer each and every question that I had and discussed all of my options. I have included much of what I learned on my website to help others learn what they could be owed if they were unlawfully terminated from their jobs.

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