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Gay Domestic Partnership Agreement

Gay Domestic Partnership Agreement

You may decide at this time that marriage is not what you want. Creating an agreement with your partner (often called a domestic partnership agreement or a living together contract) that sets out expectations for distribution of finances and property should the two of you ever separate may seem pessimistic and uncomfortable at first. However, if you do not marry, you do not have the benefits of a judicial settlement of assets in the unfortunate case of separation. Couples who part without any written agreement as to the division of their savings and property can face great difficulties legally if they cannot resolve ownership disputes on their own.

Domestic partnerships typically describe the financial and ownership roles of each partner, i.e., what is owned jointly and what is owned separately, as well as how future items and earnings should be shared. The major concern from a legal standpoint is the enforceability of these contracts. For a contract to be enforceable in court, the parties must:

a. Be mentally competent, and they cannot be minors.
b. Contract for legal items (for example, you cannot have an agreement offering money in exchange for illegal drugs or sex).
c. Make sure there is an exchange involved, although the exchange need not involve items that have the same value.

Where these concerns are met, a domestic partnership agreement can be flexible and tailored to meet the needs and desires of you and your partner. To ensure that your contract is enforceable and that your expectations are fully articulated, it is beneficial to consult with an attorney when drafting your agreement.

Domestic partnership registration

Not every state has domestic partnership ordinances. Some municipalities have enacted legislation regarding the rights of unmarried couples, called domestic partnership ordinances. These laws enable two partners who are not married but are in intimate, caring relationships and living together to have their relationship recognized by the municipality. While domestic partnership registration does not confer benefits and protections such as those of marriage onto same-sex partners, it can be very helpful in certain situations, including those where you and your partner are seeking benefits from each other's employers, dealing with housing arrangements, and applying to become adoptive parents.

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