When Domestic Partners Break Up, Do They Have To Get Divorced??

Finally, a simple question. It doesn’t happen often, so enjoy the moment.

The answer is yes.

If domestic partners decide to end their relationship, they are required to divorce, just like married couples. This means that under Illinois law, dissolution of a civil union will be treated in the same way that dissolution of marriage is treated.

Partners involved in a divorce case are legally allowed to ask for and receive maintenance (alimony). The same legal factors will apply to determine whether alimony will be granted and if so, how much and for how long.

All assets and debts of the civil union must be valued and divided, just as in a traditional divorce. This includes homes, financial accounts, stocks, bonds, and business interests, along with pensions, profit sharing accounts, and IRA’s.

If there are children, the court must address issues of custody and visitation, and will do so just as it would if those issues arise between spouses. Additionally, the matter of child support will be ruled upon, as well as other expenses for the children, such as educational and medical.

In other words, a civil union divorce will be treated like a divorce of spouses in a marriage.