Family Law Blog

Terminating Your Domestic Partnership

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Many people are a part of a domestic partnership. Unfortunately, just like marriages, there are times when it doesn’t work out. Unlike marriage, you can’t get divorced when you are in a domestic partnership. Instead, it needs to be terminated.

There are several ways to go about this, depending on several factors. Some people are able to mail a form to the Secretary of State’s office. To do this, you need to meet the following requirements.

  • Your partnership has lasted less than five years.
  • Neither of you can be pregnant or have children.
  • You or your partner do not own any property.

When you meet these requirements, your partnership will be dissolved six months after you file the paperwork. These types of partnerships are simple to terminate. It is when you have been together for years, own homes, and have children where it can be a little harder to terminate your partnership.

For this reason, most people will need to go to court to terminate their partnership. The court will help you divide up your assets. If children are involved, child custody and support are determined. The courts will also determine if spousal support is needed.

If you filed in California but no longer live there, you may have to go through their court system in order to terminate your domestic partnership. This depends on where you live so be sure to consult a lawyer who is local you live. If you have to go through California, you have to agree to accept the way that their courts dissolve your partnership and your assets.

It is possible to terminate your domestic partnership though it depends on several factors on how you can go about it. Simple partnerships (where you don’t have property or children) can be terminated easily with a form while others need to go through the court system.  

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Benefits of a Domestic Partnership

Thursday, March 16, 2017

domestic partnership is often compared to marriage. These partnerships are contracts between unmarried couples who live together. It is even more common for people who are in same-sex relationships to apply for domestic partnership especially in states where they are unable to get married.

Some benefits of applying for a domestic partnership include:

  • Domestic partners can get coverage on a family health insurance policy. Health insurance can be quite costly so it is often helpful to get the entire family on a single policy.
  • Domestic partners have visitation rights in hospitals and jails. Before domestic partnerships, many couples were not allowed to visit each other in hospitals and jails. There are many times when only family is allowed to come in. Under a domestic partnership, you are considered family.
  • If your partner is sick or dies, you are allowed family or bereavement leave under a domestic partnership. Prior to domestic partnerships, you were not allowed to take time off when your significant other was sick. With a partnership, you are treated as family, getting family or bereavement leave.

Though it is not as common as it used to be, domestic partnerships are a valuable alternative to marriage. It allows couples to be treated as a family. They can share their health insurance, as well as take bereavement and family leave when needed. It also gives you the right to visit in hospitals or even jail when only the family is allowed to visit.  

Contact us for all of your legal needs.

Couples Who Cohabit, Marry Young Have Higher Divorce Risk

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The findings of a new study hold no surprise for Los Angeles family lawyers. According to the study, couples who cohabit or marry when they're younger, have a much higher divorce risk.

The study found that couples who cohabit or marry at the age of 18, have a higher divorce risk than those who married or cohabited at the age of 23. The study indicates that the age when couples marry or cohabit before they get married, has a higher correlation to their divorce risk than simply their cohabitation.

The study throws new light on a long-held belief that cohabitation before marriage increases a couple’s divorce risk. It could merely be that couples who begin cohabiting when they are younger have a much higher risk of divorce simply because they are immature. Younger couples tend to have higher divorce risks because they may not be able to shoulder the responsibility of marriage. A couple that begins to cohabit at the age of 18, and decides to get married a couple of years later, may not be in the emotional frame of mind to make important marriage-related decisions.

Additionally, cohabitation also seems to influence marriages, depending on the intention of cohabitation. When a couple intends to get married somewhere down the line, the divorce risks are lower, than when the couple simply decides to live together without having a long-term plan in mind.

Whatever your intention in cohabitation, it's important to make sure that your rights are protected. Couples, who cohabit, may not be eligible for the same rights as married couples are which means that you could be at risk of financial devastation in the case of a breakup. That is especially true, if you have decided to purchase property jointly, or make other important financial decisions together. Speak to a Los Angeles family lawyer about drafting a cohabitation agreement that can protect your rights.

Most Americans in Favor of Cohabitation before Marriage

Monday, December 22, 2014

A new study that investigated American ideas on marriage finds that the majority of Americans recommend that couples live together before getting married.

The study by the Austin Institute found that 44% of Americans believe this, while only 25% disagree that it is a good idea to live together before marriage. 30 percent had no opinion on the matter.

That is so even in spite of the fact, that cohabitation is very often linked to a higher risk of divorce. Several studies have indicated this. That could partly be due to the fact that people who choose to live in cohabitation relationships without getting married are those who do not have much faith in the institution of marriage, and therefore, are much more likely to get divorced anyway. In other words, cohabitation for many couples only delays the process of marriage and divorce.

Oddly, the study also found that many Americans also believed that marital quality was much higher when people had fewer number of sexual partners before marriage, and when the person only ended up having sex with the person he or she married. Additionally, those couples that waited to get married to have sexual relations were found to be much more likely to report higher marital quality.

One of the more important findings from the study was the belief by a majority of the respondents that marriage is far from an outdated institution. 66% believed that marriage continues to be as relevant to our time as ever, and only 10% believed that it was outdated. This is in spite of the fact that marriage rates across the country are on the decline. In fact, most of the couples in cohabiting relationships who were surveyed responded that they actually wanted to get married.

Many Older Couples Choose Not to Marry, Cohabit Instead

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Couples above the age of 50 constitute an unlikely demographic in the United States-they form a growing proportion of people who don’t marry, and live together instead.

According to Census Bureau data, many baby boomers now avoid marriage for a variety of reasons. For one thing, many baby boomers have already experienced one divorce, and would rather not go through one again. Additionally, there are other more practical reasons why baby boomers may not choose to get married. Money is at the crux of many of these decisions. For instance, if you are divorced, and choose to remarry, you lose the alimony payments that you received from your earlier divorce. You also stand to lose pension payments and Social Security benefits from your former spouse. Widows may lose survivor’s pension benefits.

There are still more practical reasons why baby boomers choose not to get married a second time. A second marriage makes inheritance and estate division more complicated. Baby boomers may want to protect their assets, so that these go to their own children.

Getting married again does seem like a crazy idea even for those in the higher income group. In these cases, another marriage could simply mean being placed in a higher tax bracket, which becomes more expensive. No wonder many older couples are perfectly content to live together, than get married again.

However, cohabitation isn't without its challenges. Even seniors, who live together in a cohabitation arrangement without marriage, must understand that there are financial risks involved. To avoid these, sign a cohabitation agreement with your partner. It clearly outlines your rights and obligations towards your partner, as well as limitations on these. The agreement should make clear who pays the household expenses in your joint living arrangements, and all your assets including the home must be properly titled.

Cohabitation Likely to Lead to Long-Term Relationships

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

According to a surprising study, cohabitation increases the chances that the relationship will continue into the long term. Those are surprising findings because there is a vast body of research which confirms that people who choose to live together without getting married, are much more likely to terminate their relationships, compared to married couples.

The new study was based on a nationwide sample of relationships that lasted 8, 12, and 24 years. The researchers found that cohabitation had a strong influence on the number of relationships that lasted for at least eight years.

However, persons who are in a cohabitation relationship need to look beyond the statistics to understand the reasons for these findings. According to the researchers, it could simply be that there are a large number of cohabiting couples in society, and therefore, there are enough of them whose relationships have crossed the eight-year stage for them to contribute significantly to the data. In other words, cohabiting is fairly common in US society, and the large number of cohabiting couples is probably the reason for these findings.

Many couples, who choose to live together before getting married, use this period of time as a trial period of sorts, to test the waters before they take the final plunge. For many of them, cohabitation does lead to a successful marital union, although studies also seem to suggest that cohabitation doesn't necessarily predict a successful and happy marriage.

Nevertheless, if you are in a cohabiting relationship, it's very important that you and your partner sign a cohabitation agreement that clearly defines your rights as well as obligations in the event of the termination of your relationship. A Los Angeles divorce lawyer can help you define the kind of details that must feature in your cohabitation agreement to protect your rights.