Legal Protection for Couples Who Aren’t Legally Married

Compared to unmarried couples, those who have legally tied
the knot tend to have more legal rights. From being named next of kin in an
emergency to being entitled to health insurance benefits, couples gain several
financial and personal legal rights once they get married.

So how can unmarried couples find the same, or similar,
legal protections? Luckily, there are a few legal documents you and your
partner can use to gain many of the same rights typically granted to married
couples.

In this post, we’ll cover how properly executed documents
like a Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive, Cohabitation Agreement, and
Last Will can help you and your partner find the legal protection you’re
looking for—despite your lack of a marriage certificate.

Legal Rights: Married Couples vs. Unmarried Couples

Your legal relationship status (e.g. single, common law, married, or divorced) can have a serious impact on your life in regards to your assets, health care, money, and more. To begin, let’s discuss how legal rights can differ between married and unmarried couples.

Married Couples

Although rights may vary depending on your jurisdiction, common rights granted to married couples can include:

  • Entitlement to a share of each other’s estate (including finances, property, and assets)
  • Exemption from testifying against your spouse in court (although there are exceptions to this right, like when a spouse chooses to testify against their spouse or when a spouse commits a certain crime, such as a crime against their spouse or their children)
  • Being named next of kin, which grants you the power to make health care decisions for your spouse if they are incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves
  • Being named a beneficiary in various health plans, retirement plans, insurance policies, etc. (sometimes, allowing you to collect the benefits when your spouse pre-deceases you)
  • Tax benefits (such as not having to pay tax on the portion of your spouse’s estate that is transferred to you after they’ve passed away)
  • Entitlement to a fair division of property, assets, and debts in the event of a divorce
  • Entitlement to alimony or spousal support payments in the event of a divorce

Unmarried Couples

In some places, unmarried couples who live together and combine their affairs are recognized as common law or domestic partners; in this case, they may receive some or all of the same rights awarded to married couples. It’s important to note, however, that the laws regarding unmarried couples vary from state to state. In states that recognize common law marriages or domestic partnerships, couples may be granted rights such as:

  • Tax benefits
  • Visitation privileges (such as when your spouse
    is hospitalized or imprisoned)
  • Being named a beneficiary in various health
    plans, insurance policies, and employee benefits

Many states in America do not formally recognize common law marriages. If you’re in a relationship that exists without legal recognition, it’s likely you’ll either have limited or no rights in relation to your spouse. As a result, unmarried couples may need the help of several legal documents, which we will go over in the sections below, in order to secure similar rights as married couples.

Granting Your Partner Authority to Make Decisions on Your Behalf

When you’re legally married, your spouse is typically
entitled to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf. In
contrast, an unmarried couple will need special written permission before one
partner is able to make legal decisions for the other.

There are many situations in which you may need someone else to act as your representative. For instance, you may be involved in an accident that leaves you temporarily incapacitated and unable to make health care decisions for yourself. In this case, you may need someone to give health care providers authorization to perform a certain medical treatment such as a blood transfusion.

Alternately, if you are required to travel often for work,
you may wish to name a representative to handle your financial affairs (such as
paying your bills or cashing checks in your name) while you’re away.

When you are unmarried, you can grant these same powers to your partner through documents such as a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive. A Power of Attorney can grant your partner the legal authority to manage your affairs regarding real estate, business, finance, legal matters, and more. Further, a Health Care Directive can give your partner the ability to enforce your personal health care wishes should you ever become incapable of doing so yourself.

Without these documents or proof that
you and your partner are legally married, professional organizations (such as
insurance companies, hospitals, banks, etc.) may not recognize your partner’s
authority to act on your behalf. In this case, they may delegate someone else
to represent you, who may not know you well enough to act according to your
wishes.

Protecting Yourself if the Relationship Ends

When a married couple gets divorced, spouses typically have
the right to spousal support payments (if needed) and a fair division of their
combined property, assets, and debts. On the other hand, in states that do not
recognize common law relationships, unmarried couples generally have few—if any—legal
entitlements during a separation.

However, you and your partner can create a Cohabitation Agreement to outline separate and shared assets, debt obligations, and spousal support payments in the event of a break up. It’s recommended that each partner seek independent legal advice while drafting this agreement to ensure it’s fair for everyone. Courts will often honor the terms of a Cohabitation Agreement if they are fair.

With a Cohabitation Agreement, you
and your partner can plan to live together, combine your affairs, and still protect
yourselves from potential liabilities if the relationship ends. Without this
contract, you may end up disagreeing about who is entitled to what at the end
of your relationship.

Leaving Your Partner a Portion of Your Estate

Your legal relationship status can also affect your rights
to inheritance. For instance, if a husband or wife dies, their spouse is typically entitled to a portion of the
deceased’s estate. Although, the size of this portion can depend on several
factors such as whether or not there is a valid Last Will or if there are any
children who may also be entitled to a portion of the estate.

In contrast, if an unmarried person passes away, their partner is generally not entitled to any inheritance unless specified in a valid Last Will. If a person dies without a Last Will (i.e. intestate), their estate is divided according to successions laws, which vary from state to state. In this case, a judge may determine who will be entitled to inherit the estate (such as the deceased’s next of kin). For an unmarried person, the next of kin may be the deceased’s children or parents.

Unmarried couples can ensure their partners receive a portion of their estate by naming them as a beneficiary in their Last Will and Testament. Without this legal document, your partner may only be able to claim property that they owned with you—or they might not have any legal claim to your estate at all. Naming your partner as a beneficiary in your Last Will is a way to ensure a portion of your estate gets passed on to them when you pass away.  

You Don’t Have to be Legally Married to be Legally Protected

Unmarried couples don’t typically have the same legal rights
as married couples but there are several legal documents you can create to get
similar legal protection, like using a Power of Attorney to grant your partner
the authority to make decisions for you or a Last Will and Testament to ensure
your partner receives a portion of your estate after you pass away. These
documents help to ensure your partner is involved in your legal affairs in
exactly the way you want them to be.

The post Legal Protection for Couples Who Aren’t Legally Married appeared first on LawDepot Blog.

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‘Married At First Sight’ Recap: Which Couples Stayed Together?

The day has finally arrived! The Married At First Sight couples had to decide to stay married or get a divorce during the Tuesday, April 2 episode.

For some couples, their fate seemed pretty obvious, and their decisions didn’t come as too much of a shock. However, there was a definitely one complete twist that no one saw coming.

Ahead of the big day, the couples had to spend the night apart and really think about what they were going to do. It seemed like, for some, that night changed everything they thought about their marriage.

Decision day is never easy, but after the tumultuous season, no one could be sure that their partner was going to agree with them when it came time to face the experts. Each couple definitely had their issues in their marriage.

Keith Dewar definitely wasn’t used to stepping up and making someone else happy, as he was always used to being the baby – something Kristine Killingsworth wasn’t thrilled about. Jasmine McGriff and Will Guess also struggled with having different norms when it came to their styles of living. Jasmine wanted to be taken care of, while Will wanted a 50/50 marriage, which definitely caused tension.

Kate Sisk and Luke Cuccurullo, on the other hand, were probably the ones who struggled the most this season. From Luke accusing Kate of being an alcoholic to him admitting he wasn’t attracted to her, he definitely didn’t make it easy. Oh, not to mention that shocking twist where they admitted they had been having sex all season without telling anyone.

One of the couples that caused the most onscreen drama was AJ Vollmoeller and Stephanie Sersen. AJ had several blowups this season, which he blamed on producers and the show in general, that seriously freaked out his wife.

Find out who stayed together, and who decided to call it quits below!

Us Weekly

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Celebrity Astrology Experts Reveal The Four Worst Zodiac Couples

 

A page from a US newspaper shows the hor

Source: EVA HAMBACH / Getty

via MadameNoire.com:

Some romances just aren’t written in the stars. Literally. Celebrity astrologists for Bustle , Kristin West and Skye Alexander, reveal the zodiac couples that are destined to have the worst relationships. Of course, compatibility ultimately falls on a couple’s ability to manage each other’s differences and make compromises–but these zodiac signs have fundamental issues that are prone to clash.

Aries & Scorpio 

According to astrologists, this pairing spells drama.

“They’re both heavily influenced by Mars, the planet of conflict,” West says.

“Aries is very straightforward while Scorpio tends to keep things hidden or in reserve,” West says. “Over time, it can even lead to trust issues, especially since both signs may find themselves attracted to others. Inciting jealousy could be a big issue for this coupling as well,” West says.

Taurus & Sagittarius  

These two clash where stability meets wild.

“Taurus folks tend to be homebodies who enjoy stability and creature comforts, whereas Sagittarians are wanderers and adventurers,” Skye Alexander, astrologer and author of Magickal Astrology, told Bustle.

Leo & Capricorn

This couple battles with resentment and jealousy.

“Leo, ruled by the sun, “likes to be recognized as the leader, but Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, is a workaholic [and] likes to pay their dues and put in their time,” West said to Bustle.

“Both want to be ‘on top’ but Capricorn often feels like Leo hasn’t earned it or that Leo’s dazzling personality sometimes gives them an unfair advantage — all flash and no substance.”

Cancer & Aquarius 

This couple’s fundamental values compete with each other.

“Cancer people are traditionalists, who find security in the status-quo,” Alexander told Bustle.

“Aquarians are free spirits, who look to the future.”


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Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star Tammy Rivera will be a celebrity guest on Wednesday’s episode of Couples Court with the Cutlers, an Emmy-nominated daytime court show featuring Dana and Keith Cutler. Rivera, who is married to rapper Waka Flocka, shared words of wisdom with a Texas woman who suspected her boyfriend was cheating. “My husband is a superstar. He’s a rapper,” the reality star said in an exclusive clip obtained by EBONY.com. “I can say this, I’ve been through almost everything that a woman can go through, and I’m not ashamed to say that because where we stand today […]

The post Tammy Rivera Tells ‘Couples Court’ Woman to Value Herself appeared first on EBONY.

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Storing a partner's biometric passcode seems to be a uniquely younger compulsion, and likely tied to the typical millennial nonchalance around cybersecurity that comes with a digital childhood and regular headlines of data breaches.
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CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!