How to Create and End a California Domestic Partnership

Frank A Selden

Written by

Estate Planning Attorney

Contributor Level 16

Posted almost 6 years ago. Applies to California, 2 helpful votes



Who is eligible to file as a DP?

Couples are eligible to enter into registered Domestic Partnerships if: - They share a common residence; - They agree to be jointly responsible for each other's basic living expenses; - They are not related by blood in such a way that would make them ineligible to be married; - They are both over the age of 18; AND Either 1) they are both members of the same sex, or 2) they are of different sexes and one is either over 62 years old or eligible for Social Security old age benefits.


How do you register?

A domestic partnership is established when couples meet the criteria specified by Family Code section 297 (described above) file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-1) with the Secretary of State. A copy of the declaration and a Certificate of Registration of Domestic Partnership will be returned to the partners after the declaration is filed. In addition, you will receive a brochure entitled, "Your Future Together," published by the State Department of Public Health. This brochure contains information for distribution to applicants who qualify as domestic partners.


How are Domestic Partnerships dissolved? Easy method

A Domestic Partnerships can be dissolved by the couple sends a "Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership" form to the CA Secretary of State announcing the intention of terminating the relationship, but only if: 1) Both partners sign the form; AND 2) Neither party of the domestic partnership has produced or adopted a child or is pregnant; AND 3) The partnership was registered for fewer than five years; AND 4) Neither party has any interest in real property, except for most residential leases; AND 5) Community property assets and outstanding debts are less than the limits placed on summary dissolution of a marriage; AND 6) The parties have agreed on the division of assets and have waived any rights to support from the other partner; If all of these conditions are met, the Domestic Partnership is considered automatically terminated six months after the California Secretary of State's office receives the letter.


How are Domestic Partnerships dissolved? Hard method

If ANY of the conditions described above are not met, only filing a proceeding for dissolution of a domestic partnership in superior court can terminate a Domestic Partnership. Think carefully before creating a Domestic Partnership. Seek legal counsel if you have any questions about your rights or responsibilities under this Act.

Additional Resources

See the attached link for more information and registration forms.

Domestic Partners Registry

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