Orange County Domestic Partnership Lawyers
California is a unique state because it allows for a domestic partnership between two individuals and was one of the first states to offer a domestic partnership. Domestic partnerships can be difficult to navigate, given the uncertain state of affairs with national and federal laws, but an domestic partnership lawyer in Orange County can assist you in understanding all laws relating to the rights and regulations.
Domestic Partnership vs. Marriage
Domestic partners enjoy many of the same benefits and rights of marriage, including the following:
- Worker’s compensation benefits
- Immunity from being forced to testify against the other partner in court
- Medical leave benefits
- Standing to sue in a wrongful death case
Some of the rights domestic partners are entitled to are not always perks, but may be considered detriments of partnerships or marriage, such as liability for a partner’s debts. Additionally, the state may examine the salaries of both partners in determining whether to award one need-based aid or assistance. Certain companies also offer health benefits to partners in a domestic partnership.
California law additionally allows couples to draft prenuptial agreements to provide for the division of property and assets in case the partnership ends. Without a prenuptial agreement, partners must divide any community property equally and pay spousal support or child support. An agreement signed by both parties can help dictate some of the terms of the dissolution.
However, unlike marriage, domestic partners cannot enjoy federal benefits such as the joint filing of tax returns or social security benefits.
Forming a Domestic Partnership
Two individuals must meet the following requirements to form a domestic partnership:
- They must live in the same residence
- They must both be unmarried and not in a registered domestic partnership with someone else
- They must not be related
- They must be at least 18 years old and capable of consent
If you meet all of these requirements, you can form a domestic partnership in any California court and it will have legal ramifications on both partners.
Ending a Domestic Partnership
Ending a domestic partnership is slightly different than ending a marriage, and must be completed through filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State. Both partners must consent to the termination, no children must have been born, and neither partner must expect to receive support from the other for this type of termination to be valid. Additionally, the Notice of Termination form requires a mandatory 6 month waiting period during which time either partner may change their mind and refuse to dissolve the partnership. However, if large assets were acquired during the partnership or children were born during the partnership, you may have to go through the court system to end the partnership. An Orange County divorce and family law attorney will be able to explain your available options including possible modification of support.
Free Consultation With Orange County Domestic Partnership Lawyer
If you are considering a domestic partnership, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys of Boyd Law. Our legal team of attorneys have years of experience in handling domestic partnership and marital issues and can assist you in resolving any questions you may have about the process. Contact our Orange County office today for your initial free consultation.