Understanding Your Rights in A Domestic Partnership

In California, same-sex couples who enter into domestic partnerships (similar to what some other states call civil unions) have virtually all of the rights granted by state and local law to married couples. In some cases, private contracts — such as insurance contracts — are also affected by domestic partnership. Entering into a domestic partnership can give you rights such as the following:

  • Rights to make certain medical decisions
  • Rights to inherit property
  • Custody and visitation rights with minor children
  • Rights to assert wrongful death claims
  • Rights to health insurance, life insurance and other employee benefits

Domestic partnership law does not currently allow couples to be treated as married under the IRS tax code, the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.

Exploring All of Your Legal Options And Responsibilities

Some legal rights are not automatic when you enter into a domestic partnership but can be created by contract or by power of attorney. Also, certain rights such as alimony can be acquired without an explicit agreement. The attorneys at the Pedrick Law Group, APC, can help you sort out what your rights are and what remedies are available to you.

The dissolution of a domestic partnership is legally similar to divorce in many ways. If you are seeking permanent separation from your domestic partner, we can protect you through the dissolution process.

Sorting Out Ever-Changing Laws

Domestic partnership was legally recognized in California in 1999 and has since been expanded. The rights of domestic partners and people wishing to enter into new domestic partnerships were not affected by the state Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage or the voters' approval of Proposition 8 in 2008.

The laws governing same-sex marriage and domestic partnership are constantly changing, and the consequences of many of these changes are often unclear until after the fact. Email or call us at 818-528-4936, 661-591-4132 or 805-254-4173 to arrange a personal consultation at one of our Encino, Stevenson Ranch or Oxnard offices.