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Civil Union in Hawaii


My name is Barbara and my partner and I are attempting to plan a wedding in Hawaii and I am a bit fuzzy on exactly what a civil union is (as opposed to a marriage...) I was wondering if anyone could clear it up and explain to me exactly how it works/what it is.
Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Civil Union in Hawaii

  • edited December 2011
    As a side note does anyone know if we could do a ceremony and reception without actually having any legal documents, if we wanted to....
  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The main difference between a civil union and a marriage is that a civil union gives you rights only in the specific state in which you got the civil union.  A marriage currently gives you rights in any state that recognizes the marriage, and will give you rights in any jurisdiction that recognizes the marriage in the future.  Also, the law regarding civil unions is much less developed than the law regarding marriages.  For example, prosecutors have refused to file bigamy charges against a woman who had a civil union in Vermont and later got married in another state, without ever dissolving the civil union.

    You can do a ceremony and reception with no legal documents.  However, it would effectively be only a contract between you and your FI, and would not be recognized legally (unless you lived in Iowa, which is the only state which has both same-sex marriage and common law marriage).
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