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.

Requirements for a Domestic Partnership

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Often compared to marriage, a domestic partnership is a contract for those who are committed to each other but may be unable or unwilling to marry. The main reason that two people would want to go through a domestic partnership is to be considered family. It allows two people to share health insurance, just as if they were married.

There are some requirements that must be met prior to become domestic partners. These include:

  • Both parties need to be over eighteen years old.
  • No one is married to another person.
  • Neither parties are in another domestic partnership with someone else.
  • Both parties can’t be related by blood. This essentially means that the couple could get married to each other in the state of California if they wanted to.
  • They have to have a common residence which means that they live in the same home. This doesn’t mean that both of their names need to be on the deed. It just means that they live together. They will not be disqualified if they both own separate homes, as long as they are living together at the time of the court hearing.

Domestic partnerships are often done for couples who are the same sex, though some people who are older than sixty two are more likely to join a domestic partnership over marriage. To register as a domestic partner, you need to fill out the form and sign it at a notary’s office. It then needs to be mailed to the Secretary of State, along with the fee.  

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.

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.