Are you considering entering or terminating a domestic partnership in Orlando, FL? While domestic partnerships provide a legally equivalent alternative to marriage, you should be aware of your rights and the differences between the two.
An experienced Orlando family law attorney at Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC will meet with you and explain the implications of domestic partnership. Our skilled and compassionate legal team has over 50 years of combined experience and is dedicated to helping clients navigate the most complex family law issues.
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How Our Orlando Family Law Attorneys Can Help With Your Domestic Partnership Matter
If you’re considering a domestic partnership in Orlando, Florida, it’s wise to have an attorney draft a domestic partnership agreement for you and your significant other. This is essentially a contract that outlines various rights and responsibilities.
For example, the agreement may address how assets will be divided in the event that your partnership ends, or it could detail who is responsible for certain debts. It may also outline parenting obligations and address how to handle child custody.
Regardless of the specifics, the Orlando domestic partnership lawyers at Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC will help you understand the process.
If you hire us for help with a domestic partnership matter, our family lawyers will:
- Listen to your goals and help you determine whether a domestic partnership is a good option for you and your partner
- Handle all administrative tasks for you and ensure that your rights are protected
- Help you enforce an agreement or advocate for you if you wish to terminate your domestic partnership
To learn more about how we can help and the benefits of creating an attorney-client relationship, contact our Orlando family lawyers for a free case evaluation.
What Is a Domestic Partnership?
A domestic partnership involves two people in an exclusive, committed relationship that legally resembles a marriage.
A registered domestic partner in Orlando is typically granted the following rights:
- Visitation rights if their partner is admitted into a healthcare facility
- The right to make healthcare decisions for an incapacitated partner and act as their healthcare surrogate
- Designation as a preneed guardian if a partner becomes incapacitated
- The right to make funeral and burial decisions regarding the disposition of a partner’s body
- Visitation rights if their partner (or partner’s family member) is an inmate at a correctional facility
- Designation as an emergency contact
- The right to participate in the education of children of one or both partners
Not all jurisdictions recognize domestic partnerships. Accordingly, domestic partners might lack some benefits and protections that spouses enjoy.
For example, couples involved in registered domestic partnerships and civil unions cannot file joint federal tax returns. They also cannot automatically inherit a deceased partner’s estate if they die. You will typically need to prepare a will or outline your inheritance wishes in a domestic partnership agreement or estate plan.
Who Is Eligible To Register as Domestic Partners in Orlando, Florida?
To be eligible for a domestic partnership in Orlando, each partner must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Not be currently married or in a domestic partnership or civil union
- Not be related by blood
- Reside in the same residence
- Jointly agree to the maintenance and support of the domestic partnership
To register a domestic partnership in Orlando, FL, you must submit a notarized Domestic Partnership Registration Affidavit and filing fee to the city clerk. The affidavit will be recorded, and you will receive an official registration certificate.
Why Do Couples Choose Domestic Partnership Over Marriage?
Before the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex couples often encountered obstacles and weren’t afforded any rights regarding their partners. Because they couldn’t legally marry, many entered into domestic partnerships to receive basic protections and benefits.
Although states must now recognize same-sex marriages, some couples – including heterosexual couples – decide to enter a domestic partnership rather than get married.
Here are some reasons why:
Some couples don’t want to get married. It could be for religious or cultural reasons, or they may simply deem it unnecessary.
Many people fear the prospect of getting divorced and everything that comes with it. Others may have had a failed marriage in the past and don’t want to subject themselves to wedlock again.
They Aren’t Ready To Get Married
Weddings can be expensive, and many people have certain expectations. If a couple cannot afford their “dream wedding” and wants to wait until they can, they may choose to register as domestic partners in the meantime.
Alternatively, a couple may be involved in a long-term relationship but may not be ready to tie the knot. Domestic partnerships provide certain benefits so that couples can take their time and get married when it feels right.
It’s Easier To Register and Terminate a Domestic Partnership
Registering a domestic partnership is often easier than getting married. For example, to legally marry in Florida, you must obtain a marriage license, abide by the waiting period, and have a ceremony.
Likewise, it’s more difficult to terminate a marriage than a domestic partnership. The divorce process can be long and complicated, especially if the couple has a child and shared assets.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to enter into a marriage or domestic partnership is up to the couple and their preference.
Contact Our Orlando Domestic Partnership Lawyers for a Free Initial Consultation
If you need help with a domestic partnership issue in Orlando, FL, you don’t have to figure out the answers to your questions alone. Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC is here to provide honest advice and help you make informed decisions.
Contact our family law firm to speak with an experienced domestic partnership lawyer in Orlando. We’re here to alleviate your stress and help you with whatever you’re going through, whether you’re starting a domestic partnership or ending one.
Call today for a free case assessment to learn more about our legal services and practice areas.
Our family law firm in Orlando, FL also provides:
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