To establish a domestic partnership, both parties must fit certain criteria
and must file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary
of State. Once established, under California law both parties in domestic
partnership enjoy similar rights and responsibilities as spouses in a
marriage. You may wish to consider a pre-partnership agreement exactly
as one might a premarital agreement.
You don't need a lawyer to establish a domestic partnership - but you
may need one to protect your rights if your partnership breaks up. Please
see our links for divorce, spousal and child support, custody and property
division since they all apply to your situation with the same effect that
Review all your options and most of all find an attorney who honors your
values and goals and who is sensitive to your experience - whether they
be 'gay' or 'straight'.
In certain cases you need not file any court proceeding to terminate a
domestic partnership. These are set forth in
California Family Code section 299,
- The Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership is signed by both registered
- There are no children of the relationship of the parties born before or
after registration of the domestic partnership or adopted by the parties
after registration of the domestic partnership, and neither of the registered
domestic partners, to their knowledge, is pregnant.
- The registered domestic partnership is not more than five years in duration.
- Neither party has any interest in real property wherever situated, with
the exception of the lease of a residence occupied by either party which
satisfies the following requirements: (A) The lease does not include an
option to purchase. (B) The lease terminates within one year from the
date of filing of the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership.
There are no unpaid obligations in excess of the amount described in paragraph
(6) of subdivision (a) of
Section 2400, as adjusted by subdivision (b) of Section 2400, incurred by either or
both of the parties after registration of the domestic partnership, excluding
the amount of any unpaid obligation with respect to an automobile.
- The total fair market value of community property assets, excluding all
encumbrances and automobiles, including any deferred compensation or retirement
plan, is less than the amount described in paragraph (7) of subdivision
(a) of Section 2400, as adjusted by subdivision (b) of Section 2400, and
neither party has separate property assets, excluding all encumbrances
and automobiles, in excess of that amount.
- The parties have executed an agreement setting forth the division of assets
and the assumption of liabilities of the community property, and have
executed any documents, title certificates, bills of sale, or other evidence
of transfer necessary to effectuate the agreement.
- The parties waive any rights to support by the other domestic partner.
- The parties have read and understand a brochure prepared by the Secretary
of State describing the requirements, nature, and effect of terminating
a domestic partnership.
- Both parties desire that the domestic partnership be terminated.
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Thurman W. Arnold