If you and your partner are choosing to live together without the benefit of marriage, you are part of a burgeoning movement. More couples than ever are forgoing marriage vows and simply living with each other. If you prefer this casual arrangement, however, you should strongly consider taking steps to make your relationship legal. Instead of a marriage certificate, you might want to explore a domestic partnership agreement to help protect your rights when it comes to the legal ramifications of a committed relationship. To learn more about domestic partnerships, read on.
Locations that recognize domestic partnerships
For those living in the below areas, you can expect to receive some of the same benefits that legally married couples do.
Protections afforded by domestic partnerships
If you live in one of the above locations, you can expect:
Unfortunately, domestic partnership agreements are not recognized federally, which means that you are not eligible for Social Security benefits from your partner's earnings nor can you file federal tax returns jointly.
Domestic partner benefits without residency restrictions
Major corporations recognize and provide valuable benefits to domestic partners, regardless of what state or municipality you live in. You should be prepared to provide proof of your domestic partnership to reap the benefits, (such as health insurance), like a lease or mortgage in both names.
Other points to consider
No matter where you live, a private domestic partnership agreement could be beneficial to help address day to day and financial issues, such as "who pays what bill" and "what debts belong to who." Contact a family lawyer to help you and your partner craft an agreement that serves as a legal bond for your relationship.
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