For some couples, domestic partnerships are the preferred alternative to a marriage. This type of union was created in the 1980s in response to same-sex couples who wanted to enjoy a variety of rights. Generally, domestic partnerships allow couples to have the same benefits as married couples if the domestic partnership is registered.
The benefits that people in a domestic partnership enjoy vary greatly. Some of the possible benefits include death benefits, health insurance, parental rights, family leave, life insurance and tax benefits. In order to get the allowed benefits, the couple must ensure that their partnership is recognized as valid and legal. This means registering it according to the local and state laws. It also means meeting specific requirements set forth by applicable laws.
It is important to note that many of the benefits that domestic partners are afforded are limited to the local and state level. In many cases, the benefits that the couple would have under federal programs, such as certain benefits and federal income tax, vary greatly. In some cases, a domestic partnership wouldn’t allow the couple to participate in certain benefit programs unless they were legally married.
Same-sex couples who don’t want to get married might opt for a domestic partnership. It is vital that you learn about the laws governing these partnerships so that you can make sure you fully understand how the laws will pertain to your case. Getting answers to your questions as quickly as possible might help you to decide if a domestic partnership is the right option for your relationship.
Source: FindLaw, “Domestic Partner Benefits,” accessed July 01, 2015