When youre married, all kinds of laws affect your relationship. There are clear rules about each spouses financial responsibilities, parenting rights, property ownership, inheritance rights, and much more.
If youre part of an unmarried couple, though, youre on your own. You and your partner need to take responsibility for making your own arrangements and agreements to protect each other.
This book explains where to start. It tells you what issues you need to cover and provides the forms you need to put your wishes in writing. For example, unmarried partners (unlike spouses) dont have any right to inherit from each other, so one of the first items on your to-do list should be to write wills, leaving each other whatever property you choose. Similarly, unmarried partners dont have the right to make medical decisions on each others behalf, if it becomes necessaryso item #2 might be to write health care directives and powers of attorney.
The book also covers the legal aspects of buying a house together, starting a family, and debt and credit.
Read the book here for free (please note that the forms and appendix have been removed for ease of posting), and if youd like your own copy (in print or as a downloadable eBook), please visit our store.
Additional resources on lesbian and gay issues:
If you need a lawyer: