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Domestic partnership, advantage to registering in any particular state?

Los Angeles, CA |

My partner and I qualify to register as domestic partners in a few different states. As I understand it, states with "domestic partnership" laws also have reciprocity agreements with other states that provide domestic partnership benefits. Thus, like marriage, it doesn't matter where you register. It just matters where you live (to receive the benefit of the registry). So, would there be any advantage or disadvantage (legally) in registering in one state over another? I DO realize that you only receive the domestic partnership benefits of the state you are living in (assuming they have them) vs. the state you originally registered. I'm just curious as to whether or not I'm missing something or if there is a legal complication that I'm not seeing.

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Attorney answers 2


Domestic partnership law parallels marriage law up to a point. The law that applies to your domestic partnership is the state in which the partnership has its locus. Let's say you elect to register in State X because it provides advantages over CA but you then live in CA, your rights and liabilities vis-a-vis one another would be governed by CA law, not that of state X. I hope this answers your question.


There are many legal complications to domestic partnership law still, and one of the complications is that, unlike marriage, D.P.'s are neither allowed in, nor recognized in, all 50 states.

A limited number of states have domestic partnerships; a slightly larger number will recognize the domestic partnerships from other states. Some states neither permit D.P.'s, nor recognize other states' D.P.'s, and, of course, right now, the Federal government really does not recognize D.P.'s as equivalent to marriage. To get an answer that will do you any good, you will need to speak to experienced family law attorneys in the specific states you're interested in learning about.

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