In the Republic, a civil union, also referred to as a civil partnership, is a legally recognized form of partnership similar to marriage. Beginning after the diaspora, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law on several of the republic's planets in order to provide legal recognition of relationships formed by unmarried opposite-sex couples, groups or same-sex couples or groups, and to afford them rights, benefits, and responsibilities similar to those of legally married groups or couples. Most planets with civil unions recognize foreign unions if those are essentially equivalent to their own.
Some of the legal relationships you will find throughout the republic are defined below:-
- Polygamy - in which a man may have multiple wives
- Polyandry - in which a woman may have multiple husbands
- Group marriage - is a marriage-like arrangement between more than two people. Usually consisting of three to six adults, all partners live together, share finances, children, and household responsibilities.
- Line marriage - is a form of group marriage in which the family unit continues to add new spouses of both sexes over time so that the marriage does not end.
- Handfasting - is a traditional ceremony of marriage or betrothal which may or may not result in a legally recognized marriage.
- Walking marriage - A practice on some planets in which the woman accepts her lover each evening, but he departs in the morning to work in his mother's household.
- Widow inheritance - The widow may have the right to require her late husband's extended family to provide her with a new man; more commonly, she is obliged to marry the one they choose.