Understanding Domestic Partnerships


Not all couples marry, and more than any time in history people are choosing to move in with each other without undergoing any type of legal ceremony whatsoever. While no state requires that you legalize your relationship, in some cases the way states view domestic partnerships could affect your rights as a couple. Read on to learn more about the states that recognize this status and how to make it legal.

States that recognize domestic partnerships

If you live in one of the following states or cities, you can expect to receive some of the same benefits that you would if you were legally married.

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Hawaii

  • Illinois

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Nevada

  • New Jersey

  • Oregon

  • Washington

  • Washington D.C.

  • New York City

  • San Francisco

How this recognition benefits domestic relationships

If you live in one the above, you can expect:

  1. The ability to be covered by your partner's health insurance, whether it be private insurance or employment related.

Being able to utilize the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows a parent to stay home to care for a sick or newborn baby without the risk of losing your job.

  1. Ability to take advantage of government aid programs, such as housing assistance and food stamps.

  2. Medical status of next of kin for health related tasks and hospital visitations.

  3. The ability to be named beneficiary of a retirement plan or insurance.

  4. Being able to file as "married filing jointly", even if not legally married. Unfortunately, this benefit only pertains to state taxes, and not federal filings. The IRS does not recognize domestic partnerships when it comes to filing status. However, if your state recognizes common law marriages and you qualify for that status, you may still be able to file federal taxes jointly.

Corporations that recognize domestic partnerships

If you work for certain corporations, it doesn't matter what state you live in when it comes to domestic partnership benefits. Depending on the corporation, you might get beneficiary status on insurance, qualify for health insurance coverage and even more. Proof is often required, such as joint leases or mortgages or utility bills with both names listed.

Creating an agreement

Domestic partnership agreements can help couples to legalize their relationship, particularly if you live in a state that recognizes that status. Even if you don't reside in one of those above locations, it's never a bad idea to come to an agreement about financial issues like debt, assets, and more. Speak to a family law attorney in your area, such as at The Healy Law Firm, for guidance on creating your own agreement to solidify your bond with each other.

 

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Have you ever felt like you were running in circles? After filing for my second bankruptcy, I felt that way. It seemed like I was stuck and could not figure out how to get on the right road to financial health. As I stood outside of the courtroom after my debts were discharged, I decided that I would never again be in that position. I started researching online and found that so many others were in the same predicament. I knew then that I not only had to help myself, but also others. I created this site to help others get out of debt and stay that way.

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