Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer and Family Law Domestic Partnership Attorney Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
Domestic partnership law has been a component of the California Family Code since 2005. However, there are several nuances and specifics that require the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer and domestic partnership attorney.
Are domestic partnerships reserved for same-sex couples only?
In addition to several other criteria, domestic partnerships in California are reserved for couples “who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring” and meet either of the following: (i) are of the same sex, or; (2) meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for old-age benefits. Practically speaking, opposite-sex couples may not enter into a domestic partnership unless one or both partners is at least 62 years of age (and meets the SSA’s criteria). Other eligibility requirements for a domestic partnership include:
- Neither person is married to anyone else or otherwise engaged in a domestic partnerships or similarly-defined relationship under any other state laws
- The partners are not related
- Both are of legal age, and
- Both partners are able to consent to the partnership
Are domestic partnerships dissolved in the same way as a marriage?
Under Section 297 of the California Family Code, domestic partners are afforded identical rights and responsibilities as those in a traditional marriage. This means that domestic partners must endure the same dissolution process as partners seeking divorce, including custody, visitation and support issues. In addition, partners must work through the division of community property, which includes any property acquired after the registration of the domestic partnership.
As domestic partners, we adopted a child together. How is this handled upon dissolution?
As your Los Angeles Divorce Lawyer and domestic partnership Attorney will explain, domestic partners with children are treated the same as divorcing parents with respect to custody and visitation rights. In California, all proceedings involving children are deciding using several standards set forth to determine the child’s best interests. Best interests factors include the wishes of the parents, the wishes of the child (if age appropriate), the child’s adjustment to his surroundings, criminal histories and domestic violence issues.
Domestic partnership law is an emerging area that a Los Angeles domestic partnership lawyer is best equipped to handle. For more information or to speak with a Los Angeles domestic partnership attorney today, call the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton at (310) 300-4021.