Same-sex couple The trend among large employers has been to maintain domestic partner benefits: 77 percent of organizations with 10,000 or more employees offer health care benefits to same- and opposite-sex domestic partners. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Relationships and the definition of “family” continue to evolve. Coupling decreasing traditional marriage rates with increasing frequency of common law marriage, domestic partnerships, civil unions, and single-parent homes, employers are now facing a decision on how to address the extension of benefits both from an HR administration and company culture perspective.

To navigate the changing landscape, benefits managers should consider the following guidelines to create a clear benefits administration framework and maximize the program’s success.

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