What are your rights as a domestic partner in California?

By |2022-04-04T16:50:01+00:0022 Oct 2014|Categories: Family Law, Domestic Partners, Unmarried Couples|

What are your rights as a domestic partner in California?

Californians, particularly lesbian and gay couples, are probably familiar with domestic partnerships. Domestic partnership allows non-married couples to legally recognize their relationship. Many people usually assume that a domestic partnership is similar to marriage because it provides domestic partners the same or similar benefits given to married couples. Like any family law issue, an individual who is a registered domestic partner has rights.

According to the California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003, also known as Assembly Bill 205, a registered domestic partner is entitled to the same benefits, protections, and rights as married couples. This means that even when a couple does not marry, registering their relationship as a domestic partnership may subject them to the same obligations, duties, and responsibilities as a married couple in the state.

A registered domestic partner may be able to get coverage on a family member’s health insurance policy and may also be eligible to file for family medical leave if their partner gets sick. Domestic partners are also entitled to visitation rights in hospitals and in jails. Furthermore, they can make major medical decisions in case of emergencies.

Registering as a domestic partnership in California gives an individual the access to state spousal benefits, workers’ compensation, spousal testimonial privilege, and inheritance rights. They are also eligible for parental rights and responsibilities, similar to married couples. They are entitled to public benefits and are obligated to community property laws and financial obligations such as taxes. Like any married couple in California, domestic partners may also dissolve their domestic partnership.

Domestic partnerships allow unmarried couples the same protections and rights of married couples. However, people should be mindful of different legal and financial matters before registering as a domestic partnership.

Source: National Center for Lesbian Rights, “The California Domestic Partnership Law: What it Means For You and Your Family” Accessed Oct. 16, 2014

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
Go to Top