A Family Attorney Offers Guidance with Same-Sex Divorce and Domestic Partnership Dissolution in California
Turn to a Santa Barbara family lawyer for help ending your domestic partnership
A domestic partnership offers many of the same legal rights and protections as a traditional marriage. In California, the term applies both to same-sex couples over the age of 18 and opposite-sex couples over the age of 62 who otherwise fit the criteria for entering into a domestic partnership. As a family lawyer with more than three decades of experience and the founder of McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law I can help you obtain the same-sex divorce or domestic partnership dissolution that you seek.
Since January 2005, couples wishing to terminate their registered domestic partnership through divorce or legal separation are required to go through a court dissolution proceeding similar to one required of traditionally married couples. Domestic partners have several options when dissolving their formal relationship, including:
As your divorce attorney, I work with you to help you determine which process is right for your needs and your partner’s needs.
Guidance for same-sex or domestic partner divorce
To seek a divorce (dissolution of domestic partnership) in California, you must either have registered your domestic partnership in the state or meet specific residency requirements. If you are registered in California, these residency requirements do not apply to you regardless of where you live. If you are unregistered, you must have:
- Lived in California for six months before dissolution
- Lived in the county where dissolution is being filed for three months
What to consider when dissolving your domestic partnership
If you’re thinking about separating legally from your domestic partner, there are certain considerations to keep in mind:
- Partner support — As in traditional divorce, when a domestic partnership legally separates or divorces, the court may require one party to pay the other a determined amount of partner support
- Child custody — When your domestic partnership includes children, a divorce will require a custody arrangement between you and your partner. When custody issues go to court, custody may be awarded based on factors such as whether one or both partners are legal parents to the child. This can become complicated when children are adopted or were born from a donor egg
- Planning and dividing your estate — Because domestic partnerships entitle partners to inheritance and property rights similar to those in traditional marriages, you will need to revise your estate plan during your divorce