California’s legal option for domestic partnerships remains intact for eligible partners who wish to “share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.” Domestic partnerships provide a viable alternative to marriage for those who meet the legal requirements.
A couple who wishes to register their domestic partnership must meet certain requirements under California law:
- Each person must be single, meaning neither married nor in another domestic partnership.
- The two may not be related in a way prohibited by California law.
- Each person must be at least 18 years old.
- Each person must be legally able to consent to enter into a domestic partnership.
In addition, the people must either be of the same sex or at least one of the individuals must be older than 62. If either of the partners is less than 18 years old, either parental or judicial consent is required.
Domestic partnerships are registered with the California Secretary of State. After the necessary paperwork is filed, each partner has the “same rights, protections, and benefits,” as well as “the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties” as do married spouses. California law also provides domestic partners with protection against discrimination by state agencies.
California also offers registration of confidential domestic partnerships. While most domestic partnerships are a matter of public record, a confidential domestic partnership “is a permanent record that is not open to the public.” The members of a confidential domestic partnership may obtain a copy of their filing documents. However, no one else may obtain a copy unless they can produce a certified copy of a court order.
The United States Supreme Court’s opinion that required states to license same-sex marriages did not change California’s domestic partnership law. Couples may still take advantage of domestic partnerships to formalize their relationship if they so choose.
If you need the assistance of an experienced California family lawyer, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger can help. Make the call today if you have questions about California family law: (415) 293-8314.