The Act provides persons in registered Domestic Partnerships on or before
January 1, 2005, and those entering into Domestic Partnerships after January 1,
with many of the rights and responsibilities of married couples. The law also
applies to persons who entered into the equivalent of a California Domestic
Partnership in another state or country.
Who is considered a "partner" under the Act?
The Act applies to individuals who register as domestic partners with the
California Domestic Partners Registry, which is maintained by the California
Secretary of State, or who are in a similar legal union (other than marriage)
formed elsewhere. For the purposes of this document, the terms "partner" or
"Domestic Partner" shall be used when referring to someone in a registered
What rights does the Act provide for Domestic Partners?
Generally, partners "shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits . . .
under law as are granted to . . . spouses." Specifically, partners have rights equal
to those of spouses under probate law, employment law, and discrimination law.
Public entities are required to extend to Domestic Partners any rights extended to
spouses in terms of insurance and retirement benefits and any other employment
rights mandated by law.
What responsibilities does the Act create for Domestic partners?
Persons in registered Domestic Partnerships "shall be subject to the same
responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law . . . as are . . . imposed upon
spouses." This includes responsibility for financial support and child support both
during, and after termination of, the Domestic Partnership.