California’s Domestic Partner Registration In A Nutshell
What Is Domestic Partner Registration?
California law, specifically, Family Code Sections 297-299.6, provides for domestic partner registration when two adults have chosen to share one another's lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.
How Do You Get One?
To register a Domestic Partnership, partners must meet the criteria specified by California Family Code Section 297 and file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership or a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State.
To have a Domestic Partnership it is necessary that both people file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership and meet these requirements:
Neither person is married to someone else or is a member of another domestic partnership with someone else that is not terminated, dissolved, or adjudged a nullity;
They are not related by blood in a way that would prevent them from being married to each other in this state;
Both persons are capable of consenting to the domestic partnership;
They are at least 18 (or if one or both are under 18, meet the requirements of section 297.1);
Either of the following are true: Both are members of the same sex; or one is or both are over 62 years of age and one is or both are eligible under the criteria set forth in Title II of the Social Security Act for old-age insurance benefits or Title XVI of the Social Security Act for aged individuals.
Different from Marriage Licenses:
Domestic partnership registrations are different from marriage licenses as follows: Domestic partnerships are permitted by state law whereas marriage licenses are permitted by county governments. When you register a Domestic Partnership, only the registered partners receive a copy of their registration by filling out the order form. Everyone else must attach to the order form a certified copy of a court order giving them permission to obtain a copy of the registration.
Terminating A Domestic Partnership:
A Domestic Partnership can be terminated under California Family Code Section 299. This includes filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. The termination will be effective six months after the date of filing if neither party has filed a Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership in the interim. If not all conditions are met under section 299, then the domestic partnership must be terminated through proceedings in California Superior Court.
For more information about Domestic Partnerships, please call me at (858) 792-3444.
Thanks to Lisa Armacost of UBS Financial Services in La Jolla, California for requesting an article on Domestic Partnership