Singleton Smith Law Offices Articles What is a “Domestic Partnership” Anyway?

What is a “Domestic Partnership” Anyway?

By Singleton Smith Law Offices  Feb. 24, 2012 10:36a

What a domestic partnership is and who can have one legally established has been an on-going topic of debate throughout the country. There is no standard definition that can be applied to all states. In fact, some states do not offer it. California, however, does allow domestic partnerships and has laws that allow partners to share benefits and many other advantages that a married couple would enjoy. Our state was the first and remains one of the few in the United States to allow same-sex couples to enter into a domestic partnership. If you have questions about how you and your significant other may benefit from a domestic partnership in the Riverside County area, a Murrieta divorce attorney competent in all areas of family law may be able to help.

Domestic Partnership vs. Civil Union

Many states offer the legal status of “civil union” to couples who wish to receive the same benefits as married couples but without having to be married. A civil union was generally only legal for opposite-sex couples who chose not to become husband and wife. Some states then passed a domestic partnership bill which was basically a civil union for same sex-couples. In 2003 California legislature passed a bill which expanded the domestic partnership bill so same sex-couples could gain practically the same rights as a married couple. The bill did not specify the sex of the partners and so erased the need for a separate “civil union” status. The bill became law in 2005 and currently defines a domestic partnership as, “Two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.” Statewide, same-sex domestic partners have all the rights of opposite-sex couples but cannot claim any federal rights. That is, same-sex partners can’t share social security benefits, etc.

Would you like to establish a domestic partnership in Murrieta?

Marriage is not the only way to share a dedicated relationship with someone you love. If you and your partner are interested in obtaining more legal rights as a couple, feel free to schedule a consultation with a dedicated and knowledgeable domestic partnership lawyer with the Singleton Smith Law Offices. An attorney can help you determine if filing for this legal status is in your best interests and what steps to take to obtain it.

Contact a Riverside County domestic partnership attorney at our firm to discuss your concerns and goals in a family law matter.

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