Domestic Partners

Sometimes couples decide that marriage would create unneeded legal and financial obligations.  For others, marriage is simply not an option under current law.  If marriage doesn't make sense for your committed relationship or isn’t available, I recommend creating an agreement with your significant other that explains the contractual legal rights and responsibilities of each partner when a couple decides to form a long-term committed relationship. For example, in your domestic partnership agreement, you and your partner can determine:

  • Whether a particular piece of real or personal property is owned jointly or belongs solely to one partner and how one or both parties took title to that property;
  • Whether a gift or inheritance made to one partner is held jointly or individually
  • Who is responsible for household duties and chores;
  • How to share your income.

In the event of potential disputes or misunderstandings, a domestic partnership agreement can help clarify ownership of property, provide guidance for dividing property in the event of a separation and specify a dispute resolution mechanism such as arbitration. 

Another option is a family limited liability company.