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Domestic Partnerships: Work with a Trusted Lawyer to Iron Out the Details

Are you building a life with a partner but not ready to “tie the knot?” Marriage isn’t for everyone, and more people are choosing to skip the formal vows. Instead, living together is becoming more common, especially among the younger generations.

Some legal protections and benefits come through marriage, which is why some people say “I Do” even when it’s not something they want to do.

Instead of rushing to the altar, you might consider the option of domestic partnership as an alternative. This approach can give you the benefits and protections you want without having a marriage certificate in hand.

What Is a Domestic Partnership?

It’s important to note that only a handful of states offer the option of domestic partnership as an alternative to marriage – and California is one of those states. You can complete a registry through the state if desired.

Sometimes, it’s not necessary to complete a formal domestic partner registration. For example, more employers now offer partnership benefits with basic documentation (such as a joint lease or mortgage).

If you want formal documentation for the domestic partnership agreement, then you might consider drawing up a private contract between partners. This document outlines anything that you want to list, such as how you will split the bills or household responsibilities. Additionally, you can determine your rights within the relationship and what happens if/when the relationship ends.

Benefits of a Domestic Partnership

Anyone can move in together, so why should you consider a domestic partnership if you are already living together? There are various types of benefits that come through this type of agreement, such as:

· Leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act when caring for a domestic partner

· Adding a domestic partner to a health insurance policy

· Public housing occupancy rights

· Hospital visitation rights

· Next of kin determination for making medical decisions

· Sharing retirement benefits

· Filing joint taxes together

· Owning real estate together

Is a Domestic Partnership Right for You?

If you are considering a domestic partnership, consider working with a legal team to formalize the partnership and protect your rights and benefits. Miles & Hatcher, LLP, is here to help with anything that you need. Call any time to schedule a complimentary consultation: (909) 481-4080.

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