Kevin Qualls Family Law
Maintaining Professionalism. Preserving Civility. Finding Answers. Practical Guidance On Important Divorce And Custody Matters

California and federal domestic partnership laws

The legalization of the domestic partnership has helped many California residents who have been in long-term, live-in relationships with their intimate partners and haven't yet had the opportunity to marry. Domestic partnership laws have also historically helped same-sex couples who were not allowed to legally marry under state law. Since the legalization of domestic partnerships, most of the benefits under state laws given to heterosexual couples are also available to domestic partners. However, spousal benefits under federal laws are not yet available to domestic partners.

While the new domestic partners' law is a welcome statute by most, it is important to remember that federal laws do not recognize the legalization of domestic partnerships despite California laws. Therefore, it might be beneficial to all couples who have either registered as domestic partners or those who wish to do so, to consult a professional family law attorney who can guide the couple not only through the legal process involved in the registration, but also who can help the couple to deal with the consequences of such registrations.

In the event that one domestic partner is a California resident and the other is from a different country, the domestic partnership might be a challenge under federal laws. Furthermore, military couples as well as couples where both domestic partners receive federal benefits under Medi-Cal or Social Security benefits might find the situation especially challenging.

The new law under AB-205 has established detailed guidelines regarding the legal registration of domestic partnerships. The rules must be followed carefully, including when it comes to creating the partnership as well as how the partnership is dissolved, if that becomes necessary. The law has also mandated rules regarding dividing joint properties and any other financial obligations between the partners in the event that the partnership is dissolved. Issues relating to parental rights as well as health care responsibilities mandated under the law must also be followed strictly.

Source:, "The California Domestic Partnership law," November 2006

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Kevin Qualls Family Law
625 The City Drive South
Suite 470
Orange, CA 92868
Toll Free: 800-783-1934
Fax: 714-750-5983
Map and Directions