Law Articles

The Value of a Domestic Partnership Agreement

One of the interesting caveats of 2020 is that it has led many couples to move in quicker together or just spend more time together in one space overall thanks to closures, social distancing and recommendations to stay home.

No matter the couple, these new times may be leading to an increased interest in formalizing domestic partnerships to reflect the wishes of both parties.

How the Agreement Can Be Valuable 

Consider this: marriage rates in the US hit a historic low in 2018. While this can be attributed to a variety of factors, what it means is that more couples are putting off marriage and subsequently entering long-term, intimate relationships that don’t confine to traditional martial norms. 

Formalizing this relationship does set a certain tone of legality about the relationship and that can be beneficial when considering the needs and overall plans of each party. Some employers even have specific domestic partner clauses, which allow a non-married partner, who has been legally deemed a “domestic partner” the opportunity to join the other’s health plan. 

Much like other agreements, it can also serve as a formal record of the wishes of both in the relationship should one person become unable to make decisions for him/herself. It sets a particular vision for the relationship and can ensure that individual assets and debts are considered. 

Issues Within Domestic Partnerships

Before entering into an agreement it’s important to consider some of the following issues:

-What are the qualifications to ratify the partnership?

-Is there a set time that a couple must live together?

-How are financial responsibilities divided?

-How are asset, business and/or property responsibilities divided?

-Are there any outstanding debts or liabilities to consider?

Since a domestic partnership does not enjoy many of the same rights as a traditional marriage, there are tax and retirement issues to consider as well. If marriage is on the horizon at some point, a domestic partnership agreement could discuss those issues too. 

With the help of qualified domestic partnership attorneys, these agreements don’t have to feel complicated and awkward. The professional legal team at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC can discuss options with you and determine the best structure for your specific agreement. Call us today at (513) 863-6600 to learn more.