Dissolution of a Domestic Partnership in California
By Henry F. Lewis on June 10, 2018
While gay marriage is the law of the land, many same-sex couples still enter into domestic partnerships or continue to be in domestic partnerships that existed prior to the legalization of gay marriage. These kinds of legally-binding contracts offer similar protections of a marriage without a marriage ceremony. Heterosexual couples can also enter into domestic partnerships if at least one of the people is at least 62 years old.
When a couple wishes to dissolve or terminate their domestic partnership, it can be difficult to know where to start. Our Oakland, CA family law attorneys want to provide some insight into the process if you are seeking to end your domestic partnership.
Qualifying for Summary Dissolution of Domestic Partnership
To qualify for the dissolution of a domestic partnership, all of the following requirements must be met:
- You and your partner both want to end your domestic partnership
- You have not bee registered in a domestic partnership for more than 5 years
- You and your partner do not have children from before or during your domestic partnership
- You do not own any land/property
- You do not rent any land/property outside of your current abode
- You do not owe more than $6,000 in debts since the beginning of your domestic partnership
- You have less than $41,000 in accumulated property since the beginning of the domestic partnership
- You do not have separate property worth more than $41,000
- You both agree that neither of your want partner support following the dissolution
- You have signed an agreement to divide property and debts, or there is no property or debt to divide
Keep in mind that not everyone will qualify for this much simpler process of ending a domestic partnership. In many cases, people who wish to end their domestic partnership will require the assistance of an attorney to navigate the process.
Division of Property and Debts
As with a marriage, property and debts must be divided in a domestic partnership. Numerous disputes may arise regarding the amount of debt or property one person deserves, and there may be arguments over separate property being counted as communal property.
Child Custody Matters in Domestic Partnerships
If there are any children involve, you and your partner must consider custody rights and visitation. All considerations must be made for a child’s best interests. Disputes may arise over sole custody or physical, particularly if there are issues of a parent’s ability to raise their child in a healthy and nurturing environment.
Spousal Support After a Domestic Partnership
Spousal support may be paid following the dissolution of a domestic partnership. However, federal tax issues can become a hassle. The federal government does not recognize domestic partnerships, meaning that tax deductions may be made for spousal support payments after the dissolution of a domestic partnership.
How a Family Law Attorney Can Help
These are just a few considerations surrounding the end of a domestic partnership. The cases can become much more complicated, and emotionally difficult as well given the nature of the separation. Working with a family law attorney helps find common ground and fair solutions to legal disputes. A lawyer can help minimize the difficult emotions and keep proceedings running as smooth as possible.
Speak with Our Team of Lawyers
For more information about terminating a domestic partnership and doing what is best given your current situation, be sure to contact an experienced family law attorney. The lawyers of Gardner & Lewis, LLP are here to offer sound legal counsel and insight into the way the law works.
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“The needs of your family are always at the forefront of our legal services. Whether through litigation or mediation, we believe that reaching a fair, efficient solution with minimal negative impact to your family is of the utmost importance.” Henry F. Lewis