Kevin Qualls Family Law
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How does one form a domestic partnership in California?

Not every couple in California who lives together wants to eventually marry. The reasons behind this are personal. Cohabiting couples may instead choose to enter into a domestic partnership. However, there are certain requirements that a couple must satisfy before they can become a legally recognized domestic partners.

First, under California law, two adults can be domestic partners if they are in a mutually caring intimate and committed relationship, and all the other necessary requirements are met. Neither partner may be married to another person or be in a domestic partnership with another person that has not been ended, either through legal termination or dissolution. In addition, each partner cannot be related by blood in the same manner that would keep the two parties from entering into a marriage with each other.

Next, each partner must be age 18 or older. Accordingly, each partner must be able to consent to the domestic partnership. Finally, one of the following two elements must be met: either both parties must be of the same sex, or if they are an opposite sex couple, one or the other or both must be older than age 62.

Once these elements are met, to make a domestic partnership official in California, each partner must file with the Secretary of State a Declaration of Domestic Partnership. Once registered, domestic partners in California have the same rights as spouses do. This could be very significant in terms of health benefits, life insurance and certain family law issues, among other rights that come with being married. Therefore, entering into a domestic partnership can be advantageous for some.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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