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    civil union

    Jurisdiction / State: Illinois

    My partner and I got a civil union back in July, and I was wondering how she goes about being a legal parent to my children from a previous marriage. Their father and I have joint custody, and I don't know how this works. On the website " illinoislegalaid.org" it states under the children section for civil unions that once the union is legal, then she has rights. Please help me figure this out, as I dont want to make the wrong assumption. Is there a form to fill out at the courthouse or how does the happen?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stacysgirl11 View Post
    My partner and I got a civil union back in July, and I was wondering how she goes about being a legal parent to my children from a previous marriage. Their father and I have joint custody, and I don't know how this works. On the website " illinoislegalaid.org" it states under the children section for civil unions that once the union is legal, then she has rights. Please help me figure this out, as I dont want to make the wrong assumption. Is there a form to fill out at the courthouse or how does the happen?
    Okay, you need a lawyer.

    You also need to speak with the father of the children.

    He has rights.

    Your partner will never get his rights.

    I don't think the law treats partners of civil unions or second marriages differently.

    Your partner is a step-parent, of sorts, by virtue of your civil union.

    I'm not sure what rights you wish to confer upon your partner.

    Don't waste your time telling me, either.

    I suggest you both consult an attorney and discuss just what rights (if any) your partner can ever possess.

    It might be wise to do that, before discussing this to the father of the children.

    The initial consultation is often offered free of charge.

    You need to know what rights exist, before you attempt to enforce rights that don't exist.

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    The reason I am asking about this isn't to take his rights away at all, I am just trying to find out how I go about getting it to where my partner can get my kids seen at the hospital or doctor's office in the event I am not able to take them myself. I am not trying to strip his rights away and give them to her. I do appreciate the advice, I guess I wasn't very thorough with what I am asking. Please someone point me in the right direction. On the website "illinoislegalaid.org" it states word for word that both partners in a civil union are automatically considered the legal parents of the children in the relationship.

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    But your children are not children of the relationship.

    Your children are between you and Dad. There is a subtle difference, but an important difference. It's the same as a stepparent marriage - the stepparent doesn't automatically get rights to the children simply by marrying the parent.

    In the case of an emergency, any adult can rush the child to the ER and the ER will take care of the child; if it's not an emergency I'm sure the school or ..who?... can contact you or Dad. If you can't schedule a regular doctor's appointment during your parenting time, let Dad take the child.

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    I understand what you're saying, all I want to find out is how I go about getting a legal paper stating in the event of an emergency she can have them treated, because Dad and I both work, and sometimes cant be reached, I know the paper is available Im just not sure what its called or how I obtain it. My daughter recently had an accident and I was told by the ER staff that if I hadnt been there they couldn't of done anything. Its basically a paper stating she can have kids treated..... Im just lost as to what the name of paper is.

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    She won't ever have the legal authority to make medical decisions for the kids. In the event of an emergency she can get them to the hospital, but the hospital will make any necessary decisions in the absence of a parent. She can certainly take them to appointments, but she has no say in the decisions to be made for the child.

    This is not about your civil union- this would be the same for any step-parent.

    What you might need is something along the lines of power of attorney for medical matters, but even that would require the father's authorization.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to mightymoose For This Useful Post:

    stacysgirl11 (02-18-2012)

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    Thank you MightyMouse!! Also, now that you mentioned the step parent thing, my next question is how can i prevent my ex husband's girlfriend from getting my son seen at the psychiatrist's office? My son is ADHD, and ex's girlfriend takes him to appointments when they fall on Dad's time, and she is getting meds added that I don't agree with. I have tried talking to the doctor's office but they won't stop letting her get him treated. Who do I need to speak with? Again thank you in advance.

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    So, your partner should be allowed legal rights to your children, but their dad's girlfriend should not? Hmmm.

    Why does Dad have less right to assign a third party to take care of HIS children than you do?

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    It isn't about my partner having legal rights and his not. It's the fact that they are not legally married, and she is getting my son's meds changed without the consent of a legal parent. I will seek advice elsewhere since I can not get any info here without someone being a smartass in the process. Everyone is making it out like either I am trying to strip Dad's rights and give them to my partner, or I don't want Dad's new woman to have any rights. I was just seeking legal advice, as I don't know the laws pertaining to my situation. And the difference is they are not married, and my partner and I are.

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    Umm...no you're not, sweetie, a civil union is not a marriage.

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    You're going to get the same advice elsewhere.

    (Trust me)

    And honestly - are you saying that Dad isn't aware that that his girlfriend/whoever is taking the child to appointments?

    Really?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Umm...no you're not, sweetie, a civil union is not a marriage.

    You're correct of course.

    OP's partner is as much of a legal stranger as Dad's girlfriend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stacysgirl11 View Post
    Thank you MightyMouse!! Also, now that you mentioned the step parent thing, my next question is how can i prevent my ex husband's girlfriend from getting my son seen at the psychiatrist's office? My son is ADHD, and ex's girlfriend takes him to appointments when they fall on Dad's time, and she is getting meds added that I don't agree with. I have tried talking to the doctor's office but they won't stop letting her get him treated. Who do I need to speak with? Again thank you in advance.
    You need to speak with the child's father.



    The girlfriend does nothing wrong by transporting to appointments. She is not the one prescribing medication- the doctor does that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stacysgirl11 View Post
    And the difference is they are not married, and my partner and I are.
    The marriage isn't all that significant. What matters is who the parents are. When you remarry the new spouse does not automatically obtain rights over an existing child. Your partner is in the same position as his, whether married or not.

    If you and your partner were to adopt a child then you would each have equal control over that child.

    If you want to you can go to the doctor where your son is being treated and talk with him and see your son's medical records. This sort of thing is likely addressed in your divorce papers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Umm...no you're not, sweetie, a civil union is not a marriage.
    That depends on the language the state uses in the statute.

    Here in California they have equal status- different name, but equal rights and responsibilities. I suspect most states are the same. That doesn't imply any rights to an existing child though.

    CA Family Code 297.5... dunno about Illinois, but probably similar.
    Last edited by mightymoose; 02-18-2012 at 06:58 PM.

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