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Domestic Partnerships

California domestic partnership law encountered some roadblocks and hurdles over the last decade, but now firmly provides that same-sex couples and certain different-sex couples are entitled to the same rights, protections and benefits as married couples. Not every family law attorney is familiar with domestic partnership law. It is important that you have a lawyer who is experienced in these matters.

Domestic Partnerships

Same-sex couples or qualified different-sex couples qualify for classification as a domestic partnership. In setting up a domestic partnership, certain documents need to be prepared and filed to secure each couple’s rights.

California requires several factors to be met in applying for domestic partnership status, including:

  • The couple must have a common residence
  • The couple cannot be married
  • Neither individual can be involved in any other domestic partnerships
  • The couple cannot be related by blood
  • Each person must be over the age of 18
  • In the case of different-sex couples, at least one person must be over the age of 62
  • Each person must be capable of consent

California law now provides that domestic partners have access to the same rights as married couples, including:

  • Health care and medical emergency rights
  • Protections upon the death of a partner
  • Employment benefits
  • Tax benefits
  • Recognition of community property
  • Right to spousal support
  • Children born during the partnership are recognized as children of both partners

Domestic partnerships also allow for seamless termination procedures, which are often easier than divorce proceedings. Certain domestic partnerships may be able to qualify for a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership while others must go through procedures similar to a divorce if issues such as child custody or complex property division are involved. Every family is different. Whether a domestic partnership is right for you is a matter of choice. An experienced family law attorney can explain the advantages and disadvantages to you and work to ensure you have the full measure of protection available under California law.

Contreras Law Firm | San Diego, California, Family Law Firm

If you are considering entering into a domestic partnership or need help with the dissolution of one, the lawyers at Contreras Law Firm are ready to help. We have years of experience handling domestic partnerships, property agreements and related issues, and we understand the changes in the law that have occurred over the years. We will work hard to ensure that you receive the rights and responsibilities you are entitled to as a domestic partner.

Contact our San Diego office today to schedule your initial free consultation.

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“Invaluable! When I first began the process of dissolution Contreras Law came highly recommend to me by several trusted friends. I can understand why. is confident, extremely knowledgeable, and entirely well-spoken. The office staff have been beyond generous towards me with their time and their thoughts towards my case. I can wholeheartedly offer my recommendation of Contreras law as a trusted source of legal counsel that will work hard for favorable outcomes!”
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“The attorneys at Contreras Law are professional and very attentive to client needs. The attorneys at Contreras Law are professional and very attentive to client needs. They aren’t like other firms that make you feel like you are one out of hundreds of clients. To the contrary, Contreras Law goes out of its way to give you a personalized experience. I highly recommend Contreras Law for your future family or civil law needs.
– S.A.

“Great firm, awesome attorneys! A while ago, I was confused with the entire process of filing for a divorce. Gisela Acevedo diligently guided me through it all. She made the entire process easy that I was divorced in a matter of 8 months!”
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– K.R.

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At Contreras Law Firm, our attorneys understand the challenges clients are facing during these difficult times. We will take the time to fully understand your concerns, expectations and tailor a strategy around them. We will explain the laws that govern California family law matters and give you an honest assessment of what you can expect as your case moves forward.