What Is the Difference Between A Marriage and a Domestic Partnership?

What Is the Difference Between A Marriage and a Domestic Partnership?

If you are debating between a domestic partnership and getting married, or if you are in a domestic partnership and wondering if it’s worth it to get married, there are many things to take into consideration. Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP are here to help you understand the differences between a marriage and a domestic partnership!

What is a domestic partnership?

A domestic partnership is a legal status that offers some of the same legal and financial protections as marriage. This includes the ability to add one another to a medical or dental plan, and the ability to take medical leave to care for a partner. This was often used as an alternative to marriage for same-sex couples before gay marriage was legalized in 2015 by the Supreme Court.

What is the difference between a domestic partnership and marriage?

Though there are many similarities between a domestic partnership and marriage, there are some key differences. Married couples can transfer assets to one another without paying estate taxes or gift taxes, but this is not a right provided to domestic partners. In addition, some states, counties, and countries do not recognize domestic partnership status. This means that domestic partners are not afforded their rights everywhere, which can create issues with insurance, social security benefits, and pension benefits.

Are there limits to a domestic partnership?

While several limitations were alluded to above, yes, there are limits to a domestic partnership. Some insurance policies will not recognize the rights of domestic partners in the same manner that they recognize married couples. This can mean increased out-of-pocket expenses or limits on coverage.

Also, in a domestic partnership, each partner must file their taxes separately. Taxes cannot be filed jointly under a domestic partnership, which means you could face issues with tax savings and deductions that married couples might be eligible for.

There can also be issues when children come into the picture, as any child will need to be adopted by a domestic partner. If there is a child from a previous relationship, the biological parent of the child from the previous relationship will need to legally relinquish their rights for this to happen.

For more information on determining if marriage or domestic partnership is right for you, contact Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP!

At Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP, we know the ins and outs of California family law. If you are trying to determine whether it makes sense to enter into a domestic partnership or get married, we can help you weigh your options. Plus, we can also assist with any legal documents like prenuptial agreements that you might be interested in. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, contact us today at 909-482-1422.

To learn more about the reliable and quality family law services that we offer, visit us on the web at Kendall Gkikas & Mitchell, LLP.