Same-Sex Relationships and Domestic Partnerships
Everything changed on June 26, 2015. On that date the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges. A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples can marry nationwide, establishing a new civil right – a historic victory for gay rights. In the 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. It is of no question whether advocates of same-sex marriage now enjoy or lack momentum in the democratic process. The issue before the court here is the legal question whether the Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Constitution grants them that right.”
This decision will result in many changes as its full impact is implemented and understood across the country
Prior to Obergefell, some 37 states allowed such unions. Below is a discussion of ending same sex marriages prior to this historic court ruling.
Unique Familial Situations
A relationship doesn’t need to follow the traditional pattern of marriage to be meaningful and binding.
California family law takes this into consideration with certain procedures to handle situations arising in registered domestic partnerships and co-habitanting partners of the opposite or same sex.
Ending Same Sex Marriages and Registered Domestic Partnerships in California
California does not acknowledge same-sex marriages, but recognizes domestic partnerships under many similar rights to married couples. If you and your partner are dissolving your registered partnership, there are a few issues that require attention before you move forward.
Ending a Registered Domestic Partnership without the Courts
A registered domestic partnership does not need a court procedure to be dissolved. Provided you meet designated requirements in California, the partnership can be ended through the filing of a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership to the California Secretary of State.
Call us at (707) 553-7356 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you.