What are the requirements for ending a domestic partnership?

It’s unlikely that you thought of how to end a registered domestic partnership when you entered the relationship. That’s okay since the start of any relationship like a domestic partnership is often the happiest and how to terminate it may not cross your mind.

California changed their laws for domestic partnerships in 2005, including how to end them. A few of the requirements include:

  • Neither you nor your spouse are pregnant or have had children before or after registering the domestic partnership. This also applies to adopted children.
  • You’ve had your domestic partnership registered for five years or less.
  • You do not own any real estate together, excluding the lease on your residence.
  • Both you and your spouse agree to the termination of your domestic partnership.

Additionally, you and your spouse waive your rights to spousal support but must go through the process of dividing property like a traditional marriage. The process is the same even if you registered your domestic partnership in another state because California recognizes domestic partnerships formed in other states.

If you are also married to the person that you are in a domestic partnership with, you can have both the marriage and domestic partnership terminated in the same court hearing. This is a helpful way to, hopefully, save time and money.

Determining your eligibility

Should you and your spouse meet all 10 requirements, you may qualify for a summary dissolution where all you need to do is file a notice of termination of domestic partnership form with the California Secretary of State. Other couples that do not qualify for a summary dissolution will likely need to go through a termination hearing to have their domestic partnership legally dissolved.

Ending a relationship such as a marriage can be complex emotionally and legally because the procedure differs slight from a divorce.

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