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.
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.