Relationships can get messy. Alexis and Callie found this out as soon as Callie started planning their wedding ceremony four years into their registered domestic partnership. The stress triggered negative feelings, and Alexis started reconsidering their relationship. Unfortunately, the situation ended with one partner picking out a wedding cake and the other trying to figure out how to terminate a domestic partnership.
Domestic Partnership or Same-Sex Marriage?
The first thing to understand is that domestic partnership and same-sex marriages are not the same from a legal standpoint.
Same-sex couples have been able to register as domestic partnerships in California since 1999. In 2013, same-sex marriage became a new option. While both arrangements involve commitment between two people who love each other, same-sex marriage and domestic partnerships are not the same.
For example, domestic partnerships are registered with the California Secretary of State. Same-sex couples who want to marry get a marriage license from the County Clerk’s office. Likewise, divorcing a spouse is legally different from terminating a domestic partnership.
Also, it is possible to be both a registered domestic partnership and a married couple. In cases like this, the unhappy couple will have to end both relationships.
Steps to Terminate a Domestic Partnership
First, discuss your case with an experienced California divorce attorney. You may qualify for a summary dissolution, which is an easier way to end things. However, not everyone is eligible.
If your relationship does qualify, you will file a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. Your domestic partnership automatically terminates after six months from the date you file the Notice.
Otherwise, you will file a Petition – Marriage/Domestic Partnership with the appropriate California court. This is actually the same form you file to start divorce proceedings. You will be asked if you are married, in a California domestic partnership, or in a domestic partnership established in another state. Your case then proceeds through the court system.
As with any other divorce, you will face issues like:
- Child custody and support, if applicable;
- Spousal support; and
- Property division.
Hopefully, you and your partner will be able to reach a settlement agreement. If so, a judge will review your agreement and issue a judgment if everything is in order. If not, the judge will make decisions for you. Either way, your end result is the same – to terminate your domestic partnership.
It Is Possible to Terminate Your Domestic Partnership. We Can Help.
When you need to end a relationship, your legal counsel can help protect your rights and your interests. Even with domestic partnerships, you may still have issues of property division, partner support, and child custody.
Talk to an experienced California divorce attorney today. Please call us at (415) 293-8314 to schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys.
Please call us at 415-293-8314 to discuss your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in We maintain offices in San Francisco, San Diego, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.