Domestic Partnerships


A domestic partnership is established when persons meet the criteria specified by California Family Code section 297.

If you meet the criteria in California Family Code 297, to become domestic partners you may file either a Declaration of Domestic Partnership or a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State.

A copy of the declaration and a Certificate of Registration of Domestic Partnership will be returned to the partners after the declaration is filed. In addition, you will receive a brochure entitled, “Your Future Together (PDF),” published by the State Department of Public Health. This brochure contains information for distribution to applicants who qualify as domestic partners.

Two people who have been living together as domestic partners and who meet the criteria specified by California Family Code section 297 may file a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. Unlike a Declaration of Domestic Partnership, a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership is a permanent record that is not open to the public. Only the registered domestic partners may obtain a copy of their confidential domestic partnership filing by completing a Confidential Domestic Partnership Records Order Form. Anyone other than the domestic partners wanting a copy of a Confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership must attach a certified copy of a court order granting permission to the Confidential Domestic Partnership Records Order Form.

A domestic partnership can be terminated under certain conditions, as provided by California Family Code section 299, by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-2) with the California Secretary of State. The domestic partnership will be terminated effective six months after the date of filing of the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State provided that neither party has, before the effective date, filed with the California Secretary of State a Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-3), as provided by California Family Code section 299. If all conditions of California Family Code section 299 cannot be met, domestic partnerships must be terminated through proceedings in California Superior Court much like a dissolution or legal separation.

If you are a domestic partner who is lawfully married, you must file to terminate your marriage in the California Superior Court just as any other spouse.

 


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