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California state law allows non-martial partners to register as domestic partners, as long as they are two adults who agree to live in a caring and unified relationship. California does not yet recognize same-sex marriages, but according to the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act, same-sex couples who register as domestic partners are able to gain many of the rights that married couples have.
Both individuals must commit to this domestic partnership and can only be ended by getting a divorce, in the same way that a marriage would end. Those who register are eligible for health care, parental rights, governmental benefits, inheritance, and estate planning rights, and other benefits.
Under the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act, not only do domestic partners acquire the same rights and privileges that married couples do, but it also creates provisions in the event that the partnership should come to an end. This law also provides a space for those wishing to get a divorce to communicate about custody, property division and other aspects of separation.
If you have registered as domestic partners in California, then you must comply with the CA court system to end this relationship. This is true even if you have moved out of or never even resided in California. Unlike married couples, you do not need to meet residency requirements.
For partners who are no longer living in California but registered in California, you will need a lawyer to work through issues such as debt, property, partner support and issues related to any children you might have. The California courts will often not be able to make orders on their own.
With over 20 years of combined experience handling divorce and family law issues throughout California, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the qualified Murrieta family law lawyers at our firm. Compassionate and well-versed in all aspects of state laws related to domestic partnerships and divorce, we can help guide you through this time with ease.