A domestic partnership is a legal relationship between two individuals who live together and share a common domestic life, but are not joined by marriage or a civil union. In California, it is almost equivalent to marriage.
If the couple has a registered domestic partnership and they want to dissolve it, they need to file a dissolution of domestic partnership. It is the same process as a divorce or legal separation.
In California, there are two procedures used to dissolve a domestic partnership:
- A petition to dissolve the partnership must be filed with the California Secretary of State or
- A petition must be filed with the California Superior Court
There are 13 criteria that must be met – meeting them determines where you file. If you meet all, you can file with the California Secretary of State and if you don’t, you’ll need to file with the California Superior Court.
California law applies the same rules for division of property, child custody, and spousal support. If the couple can reach an agreement, they can file for dissolution in the family court. If they can’t reach an agreement, the family court will do so for them. If there are children involved, the biological mother or father usually receives majority or full custody of the child.
When a domestic partnership ends, each party will have to address issues relating to property division, child custody, child support and perhaps spousal support. You need to make sure that all of your personal and financial interests are protected. Have an attorney to best advice you on these matters and be sure your rights are protected. The family law offices of Amy M Montes are a legal team that provides comprehensive family law representation for domestic partners.
If you have questions regarding dissolution of your domestic partnership, contact the Orange County family law offices of Amy M. Montes. We can help you make decisions that will positively impact your interests and the interests of your family.