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Can I get married while the termination of my previous same-sex partnership is pending?

Los Angeles, CA |

In 2010 my ex and I submitted a Notice of Termination to terminate our same-sex domestic partnership. I recently discovered that the partnership was not terminated because we had failed to have it notarized. The paperwork has been resubmitted with the notary summary. I am getting married (opposite sex) in Nevada in just a few short weeks. Is it legal to marry while the termination is pending? If not, is there a loophole or way to expedite the termination? The partnership is in California, the termination is/was filed in California and we are all California residents. There are no shared assets or children involved in the partnership that is being terminated.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

This is an interesting question. This is not an issue or a fact pattern that happens particularly often. Technically you're still quasi married. There might be no problem if you were to marry before the termination is complete. It's possible you could get it completed pro tunc-- backdated.

but it could also come back to haunt you in several very big ways. I would see if there is anyway I could talk to the cork and ask if the termination can be entered nunc pro tunc. If not, it really is not safe to get married until you finished the previous partnership

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4 comments

Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus

Posted

Sorry--clerk.

Asker

Posted

It was submitted through the mail. It is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. I will try to contact them next week and ask for it to be backdated. I have read that you cannot enter into another partnership, but I wasn't sure if marriage fell under "partnership". It is also my understanding that the partnership was not recognized on a federal level so I thought that might give some leverage. Grasping at any straw I can find! Doesn't help, but it gives me hope. Haha!

Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus

Posted

you're correct. And I RDP is not quite a marriage....but you can't be certain how things will play out in terms of future tax law, future divorce law, or anything else that has not yet been examined by your court, and decided by an appellate decision. but if whatever agency may eventually look at this goes by the traditional principles of such things, you will likely pay a penalty for not having finished the one thing before you started the other. It's a risk.

Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus

Posted

And call it "nunc pro tunc"

Posted

I agree, this is a very interesting dilemma. My take is a little different, although admittedly, I really don't know the answer to this question. My thought is however, that "domestic partnership" is not legal marriage and therefore it wouldn't be as if you were getting married while already married, right? If domestic partnerships were the same as being legally married, we'd never have gone through the war over Prop. 8 here in California, or over/through the hurdles of passing same sex marriage laws here in California and across the country.

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Tobie Brina Waxman

Tobie Brina Waxman

Posted

Although now looking at Mr. Gould-Saltman's answer to this same question, I apparently stand corrected. Sorry.

Asker

Posted

His answer implies that there may be options to expedite the process. I think it is a difficult question for most people to answer because it is so complicated between federal and the different states.

Posted

I believe that you should get the termination of RDP prior to getting married. Think about it in the terms of rights and obligations imposed by the RDP that will be in conflict with the rights and obligations gained and imposed by the subsequent marriage.

I do not believe that there is any case law out there to definitely answer your question, but you may be opening the door for your future spouse to file for annulment of marriage based on the existing RDP at the time of marriage.

This response will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Sarieh Law Offices, and is not intended to serve as a legal advice in your specific circumstances. This response is a legal opinion based solely on facts represented and you should not rely on this legal opinion as a legal advice. You still need to consult an attorney directly to fully protect your legal rights.

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