A Family Lawyer Answers Your Questions About Domestic Partnerships
Domestic partners are considered to be two adults who decided to share one another’s lives in a way that is intimate, caring, and committed. Domestic partnerships should be registered with the state, and sometimes are also referred to as a civil union. These agreements are important to a premarital agreement, and are most commonly utilized by same sex couples. That said, different sex couples who plan to share a residence, finances, or children may want to consider a domestic partnership. A family lawyer can help you to understand all of the benefits to this type of agreement, and guide you in the right direction.
In general, domestic partnerships are treated nearly the same as a premarital agreement. Many of the laws and code sections will apply to the agreement and it’s enforcement.
Knowing the Difference Between a Domestic Partnership Agreement and a Premarital Agreement
As a family lawyer might explain to you, there are very little differences between the two types of agreements. The primary difference, that may vary by state, generally regards tax laws, filing provisions, and certain rights.
Issues that A Domestic Partnership Agreement Can Address
Any issue that a premarital agreement can address may also be included in a domestic partnership agreement. Examples of issues may include:
- Alimony rights and obligations
- Tax issues
- Division of assets and property
- How debts or assets that are deemed separate will acquire any community interest
- Identifying separate debts and assets
There are issues that cannot be included in a domestic partnership agreement, such as:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Issues involving children
Including provisions that are not allowed in domestic partnership agreements could render the entire document null and void. Before you attempt to draft your own domestic partnership agreement, you should consult a family lawyer.
Procedure to Obtain a Domestic Partnership Agreement
If you are interested in getting a domestic partnership agreement, you can expect a similar process to that of obtaining a prenuptial marital agreement. Before a domestic partnership agreement is considered to be legal, and valid, both parties must have agreed to and signed it. Typically, one party will retain a family lawyer who prepares the initial document. After which, the document is sent to the second party’s lawyer who reviews it. While both parties should have legal representation, it is possible to waive the right to a family lawyer. Typically, many law firms will not participate in a domestic partnership agreement unless both sides have a lawyer. This is to avoid the potential of any misunderstanding, misuse of wording, or overall error made by a party who chooses to represent himself.
Once both parties, and their family lawyers, have reviewed the agreement, and disclosed all financial matters, the finalized draft is circulated between everyone involved. In general, seven days will need to pass before the domestic partnership agreement can be signed and registered.
The importance of a family lawyer in Baltimore, MD cannot be stressed enough for an issue regarding a domestic partnership agreement.
Thanks to Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into family law and domestic partnerships.