What Are The Legal Advantages Or Disadvantages Between Domestic Partnership And Marriage?

Since not all couples decide to seal their relationship with a marriage certificate, some states offer a domestic partnership. Domestic Partnership in some states applies to both same-sex or traditional couples, or in some cases to couples over the age of 62. Some employers offer domestic partnership benefits such as health or dental, life insurance, or FMLA. Some hospitals will recognize a domestic partner as next of kin if a medical decision has to be made in an emergency situation. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of a domestic partnership versus marriage.

Marriage or Domestic Partnership

Marriage comes with benefits we often take for granted. There are over 1100 federal benefits including rights to inherit in the case of the death of a spouse, division of assets in the case of divorce, immigration benefits in some cases, name change, social security, veteran, or pension benefits through your spouse, and child custody rights as a parent in a marriage. Marriage also comes with the social respect many people seek.

While a domestic partnership can allow some benefits to a couple, there are some they do not receive. If a partner received health benefits, this is considered taxable income as well as inheritances between partners, or transfers of assets or money. Taxes have to be filed separately as the federal government doesn’t recognize domestic partnerships. Children born as a result of a domestic partnership are not automatically assumed the child of both parents as in a marriage, and social security or pensions may not be awarded as a beneficiary to a domestic partner.  

It’s important to remember that every state has its right to define marriage, and some states have banned same-sex marriage. If you enter into a domestic partnership, your partnership may not be recognized when crossing state borders or traveling in another country.

That said, a domestic partnership would provide you and your partner with many benefits and protections that would be guaranteed by the city or state in which you’re registered.

For Legal Help

The Law Office of Lauren Cain is an experienced family law firm. They can walk you through the Texas domestic partnership laws. Contact the Law Office of Lauren Cain, at (214) 234-2622, today for a consultation to discuss your questions.

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