Domestic Partnerships

In California, same sex couples may choose to register as Domestic Partners. This relatively new legal recognition carries both rights and responsibilities. Some rights include access to life and car insurance, health care and medical emergency rights, employment benefits, the right to use step-parent adoption procedures, and protections upon the death of a partner. Responsibilities include liability for each other’s debts, which includes medical expenses, equal ownership of community assets, and the duty to provide partner support should the relationship end. California law regarding Domestic Partnership is complex, and experienced legal counsel can help guide you through the process.

Because the laws surrounding Domestic Partnerships are complex, couples considering registering their partnership should also consider entering into a Domestic Partnership agreement. This is a written agreement that controls how certain financial matters will be dealt with during the relationship, upon death, and in the event of a divorce.

We regularly draft Domestic Partnership agreements and bring experience, knowledge, and sensitivity to negotiations and preparation. We understand the nature of these agreements and are skilled at shielding our clients’ interests while still protecting the relationship.

The termination of a domestic partnership can be stressful and traumatic. As experienced divorce lawyers, we help our clients through this difficult time, reducing conflict and helping our clients make the best legal choices available to them during the dissolution process.

In developing legal strategy, we are mindful of cost and seek to minimize expensive legal processes, but never to the detriment of our clients' cases. We maintain close communication concerning legal expenses.

Domestic Partnership relationships can only be terminated in family court. We represent clients in their divorce proceedings in San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Marin County, Alameda County, and Contra Costa County.