Legal Help When Buying and Selling Property

Legal Help When Buying and Selling Property

Legally Committed: What To Know About Domestic Partnerships

by Louise Boyd

If you and your "significant other" have decided to just live together for the time being, you might not realize it but you are part of a growing trend. More than ever before, couples are cohabitating instead of marrying, forgoing marriage vows for a more casual approach to a committed relationship. While you might be giving up a marriage certificate, however, it's important that you not give up more than you should. Read on to learn more about how domestic partnerships can benefit from the financial aid, heath insurance, and government aid aspects of cohabitation.

Legal Recognition of Domestic Partnerships

Unfortunately, not all states and cities recognize domestic partnerships, but in those listed below, you and your partner can expect to be eligible for some of the very same benefits and perks that a legally married couple might expect:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Washington D.C.
  • New York City
  • San Francisco

What Benefits and Protections You Can Expect?

For those who do live in the above locations, you can look forward to several valuable benefits, such as:

  1. Coverage by your partner's employee-provided health insurance.
  2. Eligibility to use the Family and Medical Leave Act, which protects the job status of an employee needing time off for the birth of a baby or for an ill family member.
  3. Eligibility for government-sponsored aid programs, such as housing assistance and food stamps.
  4. Next-of-kin status for medical information purposes and hospital visitation.
  5. Beneficiary status for retirement plans.
  6. Eligibility to file jointly for state tax returns. It should be noted that no federal entity recognizes domestic partnerships, so federal taxes may not be filed jointly regardless of the domicile location situation. On a related note, the ability to draw Social Security benefits from a domestic partner's earnings is also not recognized.

Domestic Partnership Benefits No Matter Where You Live

Even if you don't live in one of the above locations, you may be eligible for some valuable benefits. Many large corporations and employers recognize domestic partnerships and allow their employees to cover their partners with health care insurance and other valuable benefits, no matter where you live. You should be prepared to show some proof of your relationship to your employer, such as a jointly-signed lease, a joint mortgage, or legal domestic partnership agreement.

Contact a family law attorney to learn more information about how your locality views domestic partnerships and what you and your partner can expect. Click here to check it out or do an online search. 


About Me

Legal Help When Buying and Selling Property

I am a real estate attorney, and I have been helping clients buy and sell property for many years. Some clients do not realize their legal obligations and options when it comes to purchasing or selling a house or land. I hope that this blog will be a way for people to get information about legal issues in real estate and what they need to know when doing business. Buying and selling property can be complicated, and all parties involved have legal obligations. Know what is expected of you, and you will be able to get the best out of your real estate transactions.