Domestic partnerships are becoming more common and are gaining more media attention. Each state and jurisdiction has different requirements regarding domestic partnerships, and keeping track of the different laws by state can be a confusing endeavor. These partnerships are oftentimes associated with same-sex couples, but can also apply to opposite-sex couples that wish to be together, but not married, or to those who are not legally allowed to be married for another reason.

Domestic partnerships may be an option for couples who are unmarried but living together. Entering this type of formal agreement provides each partner with important legal rights while avoiding the complications that can result from a marriage or divorce. At Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor, our family law attorneys carefully guide you in weighing your options, to determine whether this might be the best course of action in your situation.

Requirements of Domestic Partnerships

Once primarily for same-sex couples, domestic partnership is now considered among couples who are cohabitating and wish to delay marriage or avoid it all together. The availability of domestic partnership varies in terms of where you live. In Atlanta, under Sections 94-122 to 94-130 of the City Code Ordinances, you can obtain a declaration of domestic partnership form through the business license office. To be eligible to enter into this agreement, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Share a primary residence and be committed to a long-term relationship;
  • Not be currently married or separated from another partner;
  • Provide proof that you are jointly responsible in providing for life expenses.

The benefits of domestic partnership are that it can allow you to access each other’s health and life insurance benefits, while also providing important rights in regards to hospital visitation, major health decisions, or in the event one of you is imprisoned. To discuss whether domestic partnership might be an option in your case, call or contact Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor online today.

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