Termination of Domestic Partnership
One of the many benefits of a domestic partnership is that, unlike going through a divorce, the termination of a domestic partnership is a relatively simple process. In general, you do not face legal ramifications, such as those involved with marital property division and spousal support proceedings.
Nor do you have to contend with the time, court costs, and legal fees involved. Since you never relinquished your single status, it has little impact on other relationships you may enter into in the future.
Dissolution of Marriage
Divorce is referred to legally as the dissolution of a marriage. Title 19 of the Georgia Code requires one of the parties to file a petition with the court stating the legal grounds for the divorce and how practical issues related to the marriage will be resolved. This includes the division of any marital property and assets, of which each party is entitled to a reasonable share. This and other issues, such as spousal support or child custody, must be resolved before a divorce can be finalized. If the parties fail to agree on the terms of the divorce, or one of them does not consent to the divorce, it can drag these proceedings out for months or even years.
However, a prenuptial agreement can resolve some of these issues, including spousal support and the division of marital property. In order to make things less complicated in the event of a divorce, it often makes sense for parties seeking to marry to have a prenup drafted by an experienced lawyer prior to saying “I Do.”
Dissolution of Domestic Partnership
In contrast, dissolution of domestic partnership is a far less complicated and time-consuming affair. Depending on where your domestic partnership was issued, you simply notify these offices that you would like it to be terminated. Additionally, if your partner is receiving benefits through your employer based on a domestic partnership, it would be wise for you to consult with them regarding the termination of those benefits. A good example would be if your partner was receiving health care benefits through your employer based on the partnership. While you may have disagreements with your partner regarding property or other assets you purchased together, resolving these issues is not tied to domestic partnership termination the way it is in a divorce.
Additionally, when you get married, you surrender your legal status as a single person. The only way to change this is to get your marriage annulled. With a domestic partnership, this is not the case. You retain your single status, which can benefit you in future relationships.