Wolf, Baldwin & Associates, P.C.

Is there still a place for domestic partnerships?

Domestic partnerships were originally a way for same-sex couples to attain some of the benefits of marriage, while there was still a ban on same-sex marriage. Now that the ban on same-sex marriage has been declared unconstitutional, domestic partnerships have tended to be less popular, since couples generally favor marriage. However, there are still benefits that can be gained from a domestic partnership, and depending on your circumstances, you might find it preferential to marriage.

This article will provide a brief overview into the benefits of a domestic partnership, and how it compares to the benefits gained through marriage.

Domestic partnership benefits

States differ on the terminology of domestic partnerships: Sometimes they are referred to as domestic partnership civil unions. The benefits that are offered in domestic partnerships also differ between states. However, usually the benefits offered include shared health insurance and life insurance, death benefits, parental rights, and tax treatment as a couple instead of two single persons.

Are domestic partnerships legally identical to marriage?

Domestic partnerships are often considered by many to be identical to marriage. However, this is not true. This is mainly because the definition of marriage is dependent on the state. Because of this, even if a domestic partnership in a state has the same rights as marriage in that state, the federal government will treat it differently. Therefore, couples in domestic partnerships may be negatively affected by federal taxes.

Domestic partnerships can be a good alternative to marriage, and are usually a great choice for partners who are living together and wish to receive benefits as a couple.

Source: Findlaw, "Domestic partner benefits," accessed Aug. 25, 2017

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