California Domestic Partnership Agreement Lawyers
California recognizes a gay or lesbian couple’s right to legally establish a family with a domestic partnership. The preparation of a domestic partnership agreement or a premarital agreement can be a valuable part of the process of establishing a family. The agreement outlines the way in which community property, separate property, and mutual support will be awarded in the event of dissolution of the partnership or death of one party.
California Family Code § 297 states that “domestic partners are two adults who have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring.” Filing a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State will give partners almost all of the rights of married couples under California law.
There is a wrinkle, however, in that this type of union is not recognized under federal law, meaning it is critical that you consult with a family law attorney from Kaspar & Lugay, LLP, before you proceed with a draft.
Call 415-843-6195 or contact us online to schedule a consultation about drafting a domestic partnership agreement.
The most common reasons for domestic partnership agreements include the following:
- To maintain a clear definition of separate property, assets, and debt of each partner
- To preserve one partner’s assets for his or her children
Be Sure Your Domestic Partnership Agreement Is Drafted by a Qualified Lawyer
As with any other contract, the success or failure of a domestic partnership agreement lies in the details. Do-it-yourself pre-partnership agreements often provide a false sense of security to the partners. It is extremely important that you work with a domestic partnership agreement attorney with the appropriate experience when preparing your agreement.
It is not unusual for the court to determine that a domestic partnership agreement is invalid. When deciding whether to enforce an agreement, the court will consider the following:
- It must be fair.
- Both signers must have understood fully what they were signing.
- The proper disclosures must be included.
- There can be no evidence of fraud or coercion.
Pre-Domestic Partnership Registration Agreement
Cohabiting couples often seek to establish domestic partnership registration agreements as a legal means of protecting their rights. In the words of the California county code, domestic partnerships indicate “mutual interdependence and an abiding concern for each other’s well-being.” The pre-domestic partnership registration agreement functions similarly to a prenuptial agreement in that it formalizes the expectations and desires of the parties prior to the actual domestic partnership agreement.
Domestic partners generally share a common household and share financial responsibility for their joint household expenses. They frequently own property together and often authorize each other to act on each other’s behalf in emergency circumstances. As experienced family law attorneys, we at Kaspar & Lugay, LLP are knowledgeable in this area of law. We advise couples to clarify their commitments to each other with regard to:
- Real estate
- Other property
- Mutual financial responsibilities
- Care of children
Drafting a Clear, Customized Agreement that Stands Up in Court
Once couples enter into a domestic partnership and register that partnership with the state of California, there will be hoops to jump through in the event of a partnership dissolution. By designing and formalizing a pre-domestic partnership registration agreement, couples can be crystal clear about mutual expectations and responsibilities.
We can help you craft a pre-domestic partnership registration agreement that reflects you and your partner’s intentions and expectations. Although you may not anticipate an eventual separation at this time, in case of a partnership dissolution, you will want to have enforceable contracts that are clear in laying out your desires.
Same-Sex Domestic Partnership Agreement Lawyers
At Kaspar & Lugay, LLP, our lawyers have been helping gay and lesbian couples establish strong families since domestic partnership registration first became available in California. We have been serving non-traditional families in North Bay courts for years, so call 415-843-6195 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
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