JOHNSON AND NIXON LAW OFFICE
KAREN A. JOHNSON
SALLY COOPERRIDER (formerly NIXON)
142 George St.
San Jose, CA 95110
CALIFORNIA DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP LAW
Same-sex couples are not able to marry in the State
of California at this time. Marriages entered into
between June and November 2008 are still valid.
Same-sex couples (and couples where one party is
over the age of 62) may still register as Domestic
Partners. A domestic partnership in most ways is
the same as a marriage. Income earned by the
parties and most property purchased by the parties
during the partnership is community property, and
most debts incurred by the parties are community
debts. Domestic partners can be liable to each other
for spousal support in the case of a breakup.
If Domestic Partners want to end their relationship,
they go through the same family court process as
married couples, ie. a Dissolution of Domestic
Domestic Partners have the right to inherit from each
other, the right to sue for wrongful death of the other,
the right to seek a domestic partner adoption of the
other's children, the right to pass real property to
each other without reassessment, and the right to be
treated the same as a spouse by the State of
California in most respects.
The Domestic Partnership law did not change
federal law, so domestic partners do not have the
federal rights of partners, such as the right to collect
Social Security benefits based on the partner, to file
joint tax returns, or to petition a partner for
immigration purposes. Same-sex marriage is also
not recognized by the federal government, so the
same limitations apply to those marriages.
To be a registered Domestic Partner, both parties
must be of the same gender, or one must be over the
age of 62, they have to be over the age of 18 and live
in a common residence, and they can not be married
or partnered with anyone else. To register as a
Domestic Partner, visit the website of the Secretary
of State http://www.ss.ca.gov/dpregistry
to fill out the form and pay the filing fee of $33.00.
The attorneys at Johnson and Nixon can assist you
with preparing a domestic partnership agreement,
similar to a pre-nuptial agreement. They can also
assist you if you are terminating a domestic
DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP LAW