TAGS

Family Law Blog

Domestic Partnerships Are Legal and Must Be Dissolved in Court

Friday, November 06, 2020

Many people, of all genders and ages, are holding off on marriage and, instead, choosing a domestic partnership that establishes many of the essential rights that married people have without legally being considered a 'marriage'.

Men and women who have been damaged by divorce in some way or couples who want the same basic rights as a married couple without the entire commitment of a legal marriage can choose to establish a domestic partnership.

Sometimes this is the best course for a couple, but occasionally these relationships do not work out. We can't all be Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn. 

Why Were Domestic Partnerships Created?

A domestic partnership in California is currently defined as an established adult couple who are romantically involved and dedicated to each other while not being legally married. They choose to live together, share property, and even have children.

The couple registers as a domestic partnership for legal purposes, such as in inheritance or adoption issues, and the concept was originally adapted in California as an option that resembles a marriage for same-sex couples who were not allowed, until fairly recently, to be legally married. 

For example, Rick and Steve have been together, romantically, for thirty years before Rick finds out that he has terminal cancer. Before domestic partnerships, Steve had no legal right to make health or money decisions for the person he loves and has always cared for. Steve could not inherit the home he had shared with Rick for thirty years and many hospitals could ban him from his boyfriend's hospital room because he was not considered a legal family member.

Filing for a domestic partnership changed that and gave Steve and Rick the rights they deserve. But what happens if the domestic partnership we are in does not work out and we decide to separate? What do we do?

Separating While in a Domestic Partnership 

What many people don't understand is that a breakup of cohabitating sexual partners can be just as intricate as a legal divorce. A breakup of a legal domestic partnership can be just as intense even though the separation may follow a slightly altered, and constantly evolving, set of rules.   

Since the establishment of the relationship is a legal matter, then you must go through legal means to dissolve it. The dissolution of the partnership is a legal matter and you should acquire the help of an attorney who stays up-to-date on the ever-changing rules of the process.  

Conclusion

Our team at Jamra & Jamra, LLP, understand the domestic partnership laws behind the division of properties and businesses, child custody, and even issues surrounding domestic violence and other forms of abuse. We have direct experience with both homosexual and heterosexual dissolutions and we prefer a mediated process over a contentious fight.

No matter what, we will support you and protect your rights, even if that means going to court.

Contact us anytime and we can help you understand your position, your rights, and your responsibilities towards your former partner. We can outline what your next steps should be and work with you for a diplomatic end to your relationship.