ENTER Relationship LLC Site
Civil Union LLC (tm) - Gay Marriage Limited Liability Company
Copyright 1996 - 2010
the "Civil Union LLC" (tm)
The state of Vermont has joined a number of European countries in fashioning a system for gay couples which attempts to duplicate marriage. Vermont's system is called civil unions, in France it's PACS, it's registered partnerships in Scandinavia. What most of these systems have is common is that (a) they clearly establish that the relationship is an intimate/sexual one; (b) they, more or less, duplicate marriage by making each partner liable for the welfare of the other partner; and (c) the systems are all basically not recognized outside of the state or Country which created the statutes. Based on the information we have, Vermont's civil union law has the most severe dissolution requirement in that the couples are required to engage in a formal divorce style proceeding in court in order to dissolve the civil union.
As you may be aware, it is our position that limited liability companies, "LLCs", may prove to be the new marriage model. Marriage is presently available only to one man and one woman. LLCs are available to everyone, couples (of any sexual mix) who wish to pursue life together, a single parent family and groups of friends. Marriage is based on family law, limited liability companies are based on partnership law and the legal arrangement its "members" agree to.
Relationship LLC (RLLC) is a registered mark we created to refer to limited liability companies created by people who generally are not married but who want a legally recognized relationship between them. A relationship which would be a legal entity that could buy property, provide health insurance to its members, obtain credit cards, serve as the couple's consulting company, lease a car, file a tax return as a partnership and in general, engage in any legitimate business. Delaware Law also permits one person to create a LLC, i.e., single member LLCs. It is logical to expect that a group or a family would form a Posse LLC (tm) to further the collective welfare and interests of the group. Posse LLC is the mark we created to refer to social and professional associations formalized under LLC law.
Limited Liability Companies are not taxed when classified as a partnership, rather the members pay tax, at the personal income rate, on the money which they receive from the limited liability company. An LLC can be viewed as a partnership which has the advantage of a corporation in that the members/partners are not liable for the debts of the LLC, nor are they liable to each other. LLCs are recognized by all fifty states, the federal government and internationally.
The advantages of a Relationship LLC (R) are that (a) the parties are NOT declaring a sexual relationship, (b) the parties can decide how much and what resources they wish to share WITHOUT making themselves totally liable for each other's welfare, and (c) the relationship can be dissolved without a divorce-style proceeding in court. By creating a civil union in Vermont, a domestic partnership in California or by making use of some of the other partnership statues in other countries, partners have already forfeited the opportunity to limit their liability and to NOT publicly declare a sexual relationship. However, it is still possible for such parties to make use of LLC law to achieve recognition of their relationships worldwide and to engage in business with limited liability.
A couple in a civil union can be regarded as married, since this was in fact the intent of the law. As a result, a couple in a Civil Union LLC (tm) would be able to achieve the same benefits and advantages that married couple receive from Family LLCs (Relationship, L.L.C. has web sites on Family LLCs at FLLC.Net and FamilyLLCs.Com.
Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) and Family Limited Liability Companies (FLLCs) are estate planning tools which have been used by tax attorneys and estate planners to lessen the tax exposure of high income married couples. These tools are significantly different from Relationship LLCs (tm) (and as a result, Civil Union LLCs (tm)). Relationship LLCs (tm) (and Civil Union LLCs) are intended to be new startup businesses for generating income. The FLPs and FLLCs involve having the members/partners transfer significant assets to these family business structures, a practice which we do not recommend for Relationship LLCs.
The terms "Family Limited Partnerships", "FLPs", "Family Limited Liability Companies" and "FLLCs" have been used for many years by tax attorneys and estate planners and are believed by us to be public domain (we have, however, copyrighted material using these terms). CLICK HERE for our FLLC v RLLC (tm) graphic.
Many estate planning attorneys argue that the Family Limited Partnership (Family LP) is easier and cheaper for families than the LLC, however the Family LP does make the parties liable for the debts of the Family LP (Relationship, L.L.C. has a web site at FLLC.COM which offers vanity email addresses to that domain name).
Relationship LLCs (tm) are much more than a way to legally create relationships that would be recognized all over the world, Relationship LLCs (tm) are part of a revolution in the way society is organized, the intent of the Relationship LLC is for the parties to engage in business, to take control of their income and healthcare, and in general to become independent of their employer of the moment. Therefore, we would clearly prefer the "Civil Union LLC" over a family LP (or Civil Union LP (tm)/CULP (tm)) because the family LP would expose the parties to liability when they engage in business.
You need not register a civil union in Vermont in order to take advantage of the CULLC (tm) and Civil Union LLC (tm) designations through our vanity email service and sub-domains (coming soon).From "Calling A Truce In The Marriage Wars" F.H. Buckley & Larry E. Ribstein, Page 41 C. Unbundling Marriage
"Since the same sex marriage issue emerged courts and commentators have considered the various incidents of marriage that recognition of same sex marriage might entail. As the Vermont supreme court said in Baker, "the marriage laws transform a private agreement into a source of significant public benefits and protections." However, marriage is more contractible than might first appear. ...
All of the above categories except numbers 1, 2, 12, 13 and 14 are generally comparable to contractual rights, even if not strictly controlled by contract under current law. As discussed above regarding covenant marriage, the spouses can broadly contract for divorce rights, including spousal support, property division and liquidated damages, and might even be able to affect custody by contract. They can, of course, sue to enforce these rights. They can also contract for many inheritance rights or obviate these rights by inter vivos gifts. Although they may not get an automatic name change from marriage, they can petition for change of name. Finally, in addition to these rights are others explicitly available by contract, including employee benefits such as group insurance."
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