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Domestic Partnerships/Same Sex Marriages

In May of 2008 the Supreme Court of the State of California ruled that the California Constitution guarantees the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. Late, in November 2008, California voters approved the initiative Proposition 8 that amended our state Constitution to say that only a marriage between a man and a woman were valid. The issue was then submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States.

A domestic partnership is established upon the filing/registration of certain forms with the California Secretary of State. Domestic partners are two adults who have chosen to share another's lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring. Registered domestic partners have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, duties, and obligations, as legally married couples.

There are two ways to terminate a domestic partnership. Under certain narrow conditions, partners can terminate by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the CA Secretary of State. In this situation, there must be no children, the partnership cannot be longer than five years in duration, and neither person has any interest in any real property, like a home. Other exceptions also apply. If the partners do not meet these narrow rules, a Petition for the Dissolution of the Domestic Partnership must be filed, with the case heard in the county where at least one of the partners has been residing for the three months immediately preceding the filing of the Petition.

Speak to an attorney at Larose Law to understand your full rights and duties as a Domestic Partner in California and a free consultation on how to begin a divorce action for domestic partnership.