Family Law

What Is Common In Law Marriage Vs. Civil Union

Common In Law Marriage Vs. Civil Union

There are so many questions that have been asked about the kind of unions there are in the real world.  Interest in knowing the kind of unions that people are in and other things about the same have led people to even looking to distinguish between a civil union vs marriage.  

With so little information available on this subject, it has increasingly become essential to provide as much useful information on this subject as it is possible.  In this view, therefore, the text below takes a keen look at some of the key differences between a civil union vs marriage to help interested people gain more understanding of the same.  

It Is All About Uniting People

When you hear about civil union vs marriage you might wonder what these phrases are.  Well, it is all about uniting people or forming unions if you like. To some people, such an issue might look like a trivial thing given that all these procedures are down to people being united.  

However, that is not the case, there are many differences in the manner in which unions are arrived at. To get to understand this even much better, you might want to look at how unions ended. By doing so, you will be able to understand the kind of differences that exist between such arrangements.  

The issue is the legal environment in which these unions operate.  For instance, on a legal basis, a marriage is very different from a civil union. There are also other arrangements like the common law which also operate in a different way legally.  

The Common-Law Relationship

The Common-Law Relationship

To understand the difference between marriage vs civil union there are so many things you need to look at. One of these things is the common-law relationship which is pretty much the kind of arrangement that people cohabitate themselves under. 

The common relationship which is also known as the common-law union is an arrangement that is achieved through the cohabitation of two people.  When these two people cohabitate, they then are referred to as a couple in the end. The difference, in this case, is that no matter how long the people involved in this kind of arrangement live together they never attain the status of married people or a civil union. Under this arrangement, there are no strings attached as is the case in the civil union and marriage everything here is done amicably.  

When the couples involved in this kind of union choose to separate, there is no formality that is involved.  The couple can just choose to go their separate ways without having to do anything formally. This is the greater difference between this kind of union and others like a civil union vs marriage.  

Civil Union

Having looked at what a common-law relationship is, it is now time to look at what a civil union is to allow for the ease of understanding between civil vs marriage.  The main objective for the formation of the civil union was to enable those couples of the same sex to unite. The reason for this was quite simple, the federal marriage did not permit them to marry even a domestic partner.  

However, unlike in the case of other unions, a civil union is not recognized in other places like it is the case with marriages.  There are some differences between a civil union and a marriage like the age allowed for this arrangement and others as well. For a civil union, the age allowed for this union is 18 years unlike in a marriage where the allowed age is 16 years of age.  

There are also some other similarities between these unions as well.  For instance, the dissolution of a civil union, as well as that of a marriage, are the same. The rights and obligations associated with civil unions vs marriage are also the same in many places.  



The other type of union is marriage which is known by quite a good number of people as well. However, even though the issue of marriage looks like something that is so well known to many people, there are some things about it that are still not known to some people.  For instance, there are people who still do not know ways through which a marriage can be arrived at.  

There are various ways under which a marriage is arrived at.  One of these ways or methods through which a marriage is arrived at is by either a civil manner which is through the courts or any other form of the judiciary. Other than that, there is also the religious manner which is what many people know like weddings which are conducted in worship places.  

Obligations Vary

The obligations that come with marriages are a bit different from those that occur in civil unions.  One of these obligations is the sharing of the wealth that is accrued during the marriage. Here a formula is normally arrived at as per the terms of the dissolution of the marriage.  

In many cases, a marriage in case of need is normally ended by a court procedure.  This perhaps is one of the great differences that exist between a civil union vs marriage. Even though there are other processes that can be used to end a marriage, those that are accepted are the legal ones.  

This means if you are in a marriage then the only way you can use to end it in case you need to is by going to court. If you do not do this then chances are you are going to retain the marriage status even in the event when you are separated though not legally.  


The issue of civil union vs marriage has been around for many years now. Even though many people know about these two unions separately, they still do not understand them deeply. The text above offers you some insights into these two types of unions.

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Sofia Kelly is a passionate blogger. She loves to share her thoughts, ideas and experiences with the world through blogging.

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