Types of Legally Recognized Monogamous Relationships

a young couple cuddling in a bed

Not all relationships lead to marriage and a happy ending. This is, however, the only option for couples seeking federal recognition as a legal couple.
There are other different routes intimate relationships can take. An experienced family lawyer in Denver may advise you on the legal provisions for the option you choose for your relationship.

Here are some common relationships recognized by law:

Common Law Marriage

This is a union of two people who have not had any legal marriage ceremony performed. Couples in states that recognize these unions are considered married if they present themselves to others as married. Any legal form that lists you and your partner as spouses is also considered evidence of common law marriage.

This type of union requires divorce if the couple wishes to separate. The surviving partner in this union is also entitled to benefits should the other partner passes away.

Civil Unions

Also called civil or registered partnerships, civil unions have the same legal recognition as that accorded to spouses in conventional marriages. The benefits of partners in civil unions are those relating to loss of consortium, property ownership, tenure, and health insurance, among others, allowed by different states.

Domestic Partnerships

These partnerships give limited rights to couples who wish to live together but stay unmarried. It is also an option for people whose marriage is illegal under the state laws. These partnerships, however, have more limited rights than civil unions. Domestic partnerships are accessible at state or city levels.

Domestic partnerships, common law marriage, and civil unions are only recognized at state levels. They, therefore, do not affect the status of partners when dealing with federal contracts. The couple still files their federal taxes, for instance, as single individuals.