If you are in a registered domestic partnership that is headed down the unfortunate path to separation, you may not have to go through the court system. Some domestic partnerships may be dissolved by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form with the California Secretary of State.
Some domestic partnerships may be dissolved by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form with the California Secretary of State.
Ending a Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State
In order for the Secretary of State to honor your request to dissolve a domestic partnership, you must meet certain requirements, including:
1. Both partners must want to end the relationship
2. No children were born to the couple and neither party is pregnant
3. Neither partner owns any buildings or land
4. Excluding automobiles, together the couple owns less than $38,000 in assets
5. Excluding auto loans, the couple owes less than $6,000 in community debt
6. Neither partner expects to receive support from the other party
The Six Month Waiting Period
Once the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form has been filed, there is a mandatory six month waiting period. If those six months pass with no change of mind from either partner, the registered domestic partnership is then dissolved.
However, if one party changes their mind about the termination, he or she can revoke the notice. If this happens, a Notice of Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership must be filed, and both parties must have a copy of the completed form.
Both parties can still terminate the partnership at this point, but it has to be done through the court. In this scenario, the parties will dissolve the partnership in a similar way to a married couple going for divorce.
For a full list of criteria and the required brochure and accompanying form, visit the California Secretary of State website.