In California, married couples enjoy a number of rights, including the rights to ownership of community property which was acquired during their marriage. While unmarried couples do not share these rights, some couples may be able to register as domestic partners, providing them with the legal protection they need. If you are considering a domestic partnership, it is important to understand the criteria for eligibility and the steps that must be taken.
What is a Domestic Partnership?
According to California law, domestic partners are two individuals who decide to live together in an intimate and committed relationship. A domestic partnership is legally established when a Declaration of Domestic Partnership is filed with the Secretary of State. Domestic partners have the same rights and obligations as married couples under California law.
Who Can Register for a Domestic Partnership?
Same-sex couples registering as domestic partners must be at least 18 years old, and for opposite-sex couples, one or both partners must be at least 62 years old. However, same-sex partners under the age of 18 can still register if they have consent in writing from their parents or guardian and a court order granting permission. Domestic partners cannot be married to anyone else or a member of another domestic partnership that has not yet been terminated, and they cannot be related to each other by blood.
How Do I Register For a Domestic Partnership?
Partners who meet the eligibility requirements for domestic partnership can register by filling out a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form, having it notarized, and submitting it to the California Secretary of State. This can be done via mail or in-person at the Sacramento or Los Angeles offices of the Secretary of State.
The fee for filing a domestic partnership is $10, and there is an additional $23 fee for same-sex couples. If the couple decides to terminate their domestic partnership, they can file a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form, for which there is no fee.
Contact a San Jose Domestic Partnership Lawyer
Domestic partnership in California provides same-sex couples or elderly couples with the rights and protections that they deserve in their relationship. If are considering domestic partnership, you can count on Dominion Law Group, LLP to assist you. We have over 28 years of experience representing clients in family law matters, and we are ready to answer your questions and help you meet your legal obligations. For a free consultation, please call a Santa Clara County family law attorney at 408-288-5592.