What is a Domestic Partnership?
A domestic partnership is similar to a marriage but it applies to unmarried couples who are living together. When comparing domestic partnership vs marriage, there can be many differences depending on the applicable state laws. Some domestic partnership benefits could include the right to visit a sick loved one in the hospital and the capability to be covered under family insurance. Most domestic partnership couples are same sex, but there are also opposite sex domestic partners. Some states use the term “civil union” when referring to domestic partnerships. The definitions of domestic partnerships and civil unions vary widely from state to state.
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What Are the Laws Surrounding Domestic Partnership?
If you want to be considered to be in a domestic partnership with your significant other, you will need to get a domestic partnership certificate. States have different requirements for couples looking to receive this certificate, but most require that the couple be over 18 years of age and financially independent. The application process can be complicated, especially if you are approaching it without any legal knowledge, and varying state laws The laws surrounding domestic partnerships can vary largely state to state, sometimes making the process difficult to navigate. Many states, for example, do not even recognize domestic partnerships altogether.
Laws differ not only between states, but also sometimes from city to city or county to county. Certain benefits and privileges offered in one city may not be applicable in another city in the same state. That is why it is important to consult with a law professional to become familiar with what is offered to you in your area.
How to Dissolve a Domestic Partnership
If you are looking to terminate a domestic partnership, you may be surprised to know that the process is quite similar to that of a divorce. If you are the person who wants to terminate the domestic partnership, there are legal steps you must take to dissolve the partnership. You will have to provide a notice to the other party and then be prepared to enter civil court.
Terminating domestic partnerships will also result in division of property and assets that may have been discussed at the time of inception. A law professional is advised from the time of inception to the time of dissolution. This is because you will want to make sure that your assets and property are protected throughout the duration of your domestic partnership. Choosing to end your relationship can be a difficult decision, but you will want to protect yourself if the worst-case scenario does occur.
Finding the Right Attorney
Because domestic partnerships are not recognized the same across the board in all cities, counties and states, it is wise to invest in a law professional at any stage of the relationship. That is why it is important to rely on a professional to help you discuss the ins and outs of domestic partnerships. In the unfortunate case that you decide to dissolve your partnership, a law professional can walk you through the process while also helping protect your property and assets. If you have questions or concerns surrounding domestic partnerships, talk to an attorney. They will help you with all aspects, including benefits, laws, filing disputes, and applying for a certificate.