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Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Domestic Partnerships

Sacramento Divorce Attorney Discusses Domestic Partnerships

Domestic partners are unmarried couples, of the same or opposite sex, who live together and seek economic and noneconomic benefits granted to their married counterparts. In a few states, domestic partnership status is offered and regulated by the state and grants many of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. These include health, dental and vision insurance, sick and bereavement leave, accident and bereavement leave, accident and life insurance, death benefits, parental leave, housing rights and tuition reduction, and even use of recreational facilities.

When a state, municipality, county, organization, private company, or university considers providing domestic partnership benefits, it must address several important issues: Who qualifies as a domestic partner? Should heterosexual couples be covered as well as gay and lesbian couples? How will an employer identify the employee’s domestic partner?

Today domestic partnership benefits are offered in numerous situations. However, these benefits are limited. In most cases, all that is offered is bereavement or sick leave. Ion other situations, the benefits offered are comprehensive, but also costly. Often either the employee foots the bill for his or her partner or the company pays but the employee must pay taxes on the benefits. This is because the IRS considers benefits awarded to an unmarried partner as taxable compensation. One interesting note is that even though most domestic partnership applications ask you to state that you are financially responsible for each other’s needs, these application are generally not considered binding or contracts of support.

If you have a question regarding a family law issue or domestic partnership please contact Sagaria Law at 1-800-941-6730 for a free consultation or visit us at Our team of Family Law Attorneys can assist you with all aspects of your case. We have attorneys in San Mateo, Monterey, Fremont, Salinas, Sacramento and San Jose.