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February 7, 2012

Delaware Civil Union and Equality Act

The Delaware Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011 went into effect on January 1, 2012, which amends Title 13 of the Delaware Code relating to civil unions. Among the many legal protections and benefits for same-sex couples who enter into a recognized civil union under this law, is the opportunity to hold title to real property as tenants by the entirety.

Tenancy by the entirety is an ownership interest with the right of survivorship, so that upon the death of one tenant/spouse, the survivor is entitled to the decedent’s share without having to go through probate. Another unique benefit of holding title as tenants by the entirety is that a judgment against an individual tenant/spouse does not create a lien on the property.

It is important to note that under the new law, legal unions performed in other jurisdictions will be recognized in Delaware, so long as the legal union meets the eligibility requirements of a Delaware civil union and affords to and imposes on the couple substantially similar rights, benefits, protections, responsibilities and duties as those afforded to and imposed on parties to a Delaware civil union.

Couples in a legal civil union who own or plan to purchase real property together should discuss the benefits of a tenancy by the entirety with a Delaware attorney.

For more information on Delaware civil unions, please visit:

For help with your next real estate transaction, please contact The Kirsh Law Firm at either Newark, DE (302) 454-1510 or North East, MD (410) 287-1510. We look forward to the opportunity to be of service to you.

Copyright © 2012 The Kirsh Law Firm.  All rights reserved.


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