Terminating a California Registered Domestic Partnership

Terminating a California Registered Domestic Partnership

The day Cody and Charles registered their domestic partnership was one of the happiest days of their lives. However, their relationship cooled over the years. Finally, they started doing online research about terminating a California registered domestic partnership. The more they learned, the more Cody and Charles felt this was the right path for them. They just had to follow the right procedures under California law.

Registered Domestic Partnerships Under California Law

In 2003, the California legislature passed a law that gave a registered domestic partnership the same legal rights and responsibilities as a married couple. Such rights include the right to terminate the legal relationship.

Forming the Registered Domestic Partnership

Adults in a committed relationship may file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership or a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. They must be:
  • Unmarried and not part of another registered domestic partnership;
  • Unrelated by blood;
  • At least 18 years of age, in most circumstances;
  • Either both members of the same sex or an opposite-sex couple where one or both are over 62 years of age; and
  • Both consenting to the domestic partnership.
At times, one or both members of a partnership may look for a way out.

Ending the Registered Domestic Partnership

There are two basic ways to go about terminating a California registered domestic partnership – an easy way and a slightly more difficult way. The easiest way to dissolve a registered domestic partnership is to file a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State’s Office. The parties must meet the following conditions:
  • Both have signed the Notice of Termination.
  • They cannot have had children during the partnership, and neither party can be pregnant.
  • Their partnership must have existed for less than five years.
  • They cannot own any real property,
  • Their unpaid debts fall below the limit set by state law.
  • The parties have agreed on a division of assets and debt.
  • They have waived financial support.
Sometimes couples are not eligible to dissolve their partnership through a Notice of Termination. If so, one person will file a Petition for Dissolution of Domestic Partnership with an appropriate court. The ensuing process is similar to a divorce proceeding. The court may grant a termination of the registered domestic partnership after the couple has worked out issues related to their relationship, including property division and spousal support.

Final Thoughts

If you want to terminate your registered domestic partnership, discuss your options with an experienced California divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please call us at 415-293-8314. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients with divorce matters in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.