California Domestic Partnership - The Basics

Frank A Selden

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Estate Planning Attorney

Contributor Level 16

Posted over 5 years ago. Applies to California, 2 helpful votes



Who is affected by the Act?

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 Domestic Partnership.


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.

Additional Resources

CA Sec of State's DP Registry

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