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Family Law: Five Facts About Domestic Partnerships in California

Sunday, December 27, 2015
Family Law: Five Facts About Domestic Partnerships in California

Under California Family Code section 297, two partners who have been living together domestically can establish a domestic partnership by filing either a Declaration of Domestic Partnership or a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the state. Below are five facts about domestic partnerships in California you should know.

  • First, the US Supreme Court ruling in June 2015, which established both a right to same-sex marriage and that states had to recognize it as the law, had no effect on domestic partnerships in the state. The latter were neither invalidated or changed.
  • Second, the Supreme Court ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, pertained to marriage licenses, which are issued by the county. Domestic partnership registrations are distinct from marriage licenses.
  • Three, the application for domestic partnership goes to, and is processed by the California Secretary of State's office. This process will continue.
  • Four, it is also possible to apply for a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State if two people have been living together as domestic parterres. The difference between this and a Declaration of Domestic Partnership is that the confidential one is not open to the public.
  • Fifth, to dissolve a domestic partnership, a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership can be filed with the California Secretary of State. A termination of domestic partnership will occur 6 months after the filing date unless either party has filed a Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State.

The law is complex and it is advisable to consult an experienced family law family law attorney about domestic partnerships in the state. Please contact us with any questions.


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