Domestic Partnership Attorney In San Luis Obispo, CA
If you and your partner are looking to formalize your relationship by means of a domestic partnership, or if you have trouble understanding the legal differences between domestic partnership and marriages, don’t hesitate to call 805 Law Group and talk to one of our San Luis Obispo domestic partnership attorneys to get legal help.
California Domestic Partnership
Domestic partnership started back in 1999 when it was established so that same-sex couples could be able to enjoy the rights and benefits of marriage which, at the time, was only available to opposite-sex (heterosexual) couples. Eventually in 2020, domestic partnership was also made available to couples who were both over 62 by Senate Bill 30 (SB-30).
At first, domestic partnerships conferred only some of the legal benefits or marriage, including mainly hospital visitation rights, and the right to be recognized as a next of kin and beneficiary of the estate of the deceased partner. Today, domestic partnership has been amended to be able to give non-married domestic partners “the same rights, protections, spousal benefits, responsibilities, obligations, and duties” as married couples.
However, there are still some slight technical differences between the two, mainly because of the use of the word “marriage.” For example, US Federal Law does not recognize domestic partnerships, only same-sex marriages. This is also the case for some countries like Isral that recognize same-sex marriages, but not same-sex domestic partnerships.
The differences between domestic partnerships and marriages can get a little confusing especially since the state of the union can vary a lot depending on the jurisdiction. Consult with a trusted San Luis Obispo domestic partnership attorney to know more about your options and to figure out what is best for you and your partner.
Rights and Responsibilities of Registered Domestic Partners in California
As of 2012, the state of California grants these rights and responsibilities to registered domestic partners:
- The right for either partner to take the other’s surname,
- The same parental rights given to married spouses,
- Property tax provisions as given to married couples (Cal. R&T Code §62p),
- Suing for the wrongful death of a domestic partner,
- Stepparent adoption,
- All forms of spousal insurance through the California Insurance Equality Act (Cal. Ins. Code §381.5),
- Hospital and jail visitation of the sick, injured, or incarcerated person as given to family members (related by marriage, adoption, or blood),
- Making health care decisions on behalf of each other in certain circumstances,
- Access to family health insurance benefits (Cal. Ins. Code §10121.7)
- Sicks care and family leave,
- Presumption of parenthood to a child born into the partnership by both partners,
- Obligation to file state tax returns as a married couple (260k)
- Right to request alimony upon dissolution of the partnership via a divorce,
- Supervision of the Superior Court of California over dissolution and nullity of proceedings,
- Rights involving wills, conservatorships, trusts, and intestate succession,
- Community property rights,
- Claim inheritance rights as a putative partner,
- Survivor pension benefits.
For a couple to be eligible to enter into a domestic partnership in California, a couple must meet the following requirements:
- The two parties must not be related by blood,
- Both parties are 18 years old or older, except as provided in Section 297.1,
- Neither of the two is currently married to someone else or in a domestic partnership with someone else unless it has already been annulled, dissolved, or terminated,
- Both parties are capable of consenting to be in a domestic partnership.
Additionally, a couple may also opt to enter a confidential domestic partnership given that both domestic partners are cohabiting or living together. These are called confidential because the partnership is not open to the public. Non-confidential, or standard, domestic partnerships don’t need to share a common residence.
The registration process for domestic partnership is more straightforward and less costly than getting married since marriages must specifically involve ceremonies formalized by civil officials or religious clergy. This is one of the reasons why many people opt for domestic partnerships over marriages.
To file for a domestic partnership, both parties only have to create a declaration with their names, addresses, and signatures. This will then be notarized by a notary public.
Once notarized, the declaration will then be filed with the Secretary of State along with a specified filing fee. The filing fees will go into LGBT programs and advocacies including various LGBT services and LGBT domestic violence training.
The dissolution of domestic partnerships may involve court action similar to the dissolution of marriage such as divorce. But, in more simple, uncontested scenarios, a couple may be able to avoid any court action and directly file with the Secretary of State,
This only applies to younger domestic partnerships that have been formalized less than five years from the time of dissolution. These partnerships must also have no children (or expected children), no real estate, and only minimal debt and jointly-owned marital property.
Qualified domestic partners will then sign an agreement with the Secretary of State to equally divide their assets and liabilities. They will also have to forfeit domestic partner support. Domestic partnerships dissolutions that take this route will be fully dissolved after six months of filing unless either spouse withdraws their consent.
However, not all domestic partnerships can be dissolved easily in this way. In some cases, there are still legal hurdles that have to be overcome. In such cases, don’t hesitate to consult with our skilled domestic partnership attorney in San Luis Obispo, CA to get more information and legal help and information about divorce law.
Consult with Our San Luis Obispo Domestic Partnership Attorneys!
We all know that relationships are messy so it comes as no surprise that the laws governing relationships like marriages and partnerships are both complicated, but that shouldn’t stop you from formalizing your relationship with your significant other.
To know more about legal unions like marriages and domestic partnerships, talk to one of our domestic partnership attorneys at 805Law Group. Let our San Luis Obispo County attorneys help you build your family today.