Understanding Domestic Partnerships

What is the difference between a domestic partnership and a traditional marriage?

In California, a domestic partnership is a term most often used to indicate same-sex individuals who are involved in a committed relationship and want to enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as those who are involved in traditional marriages. While traditional marriage requires a marriage license, same-sex couples must file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. A variety of conditions must be met before a domestic partnership can be established as indicated in California Family Code section 297. Neither person can be currently married, part of another domestic partnership or related. Both persons must be at least 18 years of age, members of the same sex and capable of consenting to the domestic partnership. For individuals under the age of 18, a court order must be issued that grants this permission, which could be difficult to achieve. This normally requires the consent of a parent or guardian, although the court may make an order if there is no parent or guardian available to consent.

Once the Declaration of Domestic Partnership has been filed and a domestic partnership established, the couple will enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as those of a traditional marriage. This includes rights to hospital visitation and rights to receive certain financial benefits such as pensions. It allows spouses to seek the assets they are entitled to in the event of dissolution of domestic partnership, as well as the right to seek resolution of other matters related to child custody, spousal support, visitation and other matters. In the event of a domestic partner's death, the surviving partner is also entitled to the same rights, protections and benefits provided for those in a traditional marriage.

Are you considering a domestic partnership? Call our skilled family law attorney at 760-340-4545 today.

Registering For A Domestic Partnership In California

In California, registering for a domestic partnership can be as simple as meeting the requirements and filing the proper declaration paperwork. It is advised that you enlist the support of a skilled attorney with the Law Office of James A. Jackson for valuable insights regarding preparation and other protections with regard to prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. We are adept at handling matters of domestic partnership from establishment to dissolution, and have worked hard to provide many clients with the level of legal representation that will best serve their interests.

It is important for same-sex partners to understand what they need to do to establish a domestic partnership, as well as the risks. State and federal law can be in conflict and it is important to carefully address this issue. At the Law Office of James A. Jackson, we have built a solid foundation for success by meeting the needs of same-sex couples throughout the area. We strongly believe in your right to receive the same benefits as a traditional marriage, and will work hard to see that you have a full understanding of the legal partnership and the rights you have under state and federal law, and how to best manage this critical issue.

Contact Us For 30 Years Of Family Law Experience

If you are considering a domestic partnership, you require an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process. Call the Law Office of James A. Jackson at 760-340-4545 to learn more about domestic partnerships. You may also contact us online. Based in Palm Desert, we serve families throughout the cities of the Coachella Valley.