Unfortunately, just as with some marriages, not all opposite and same-sex relationships are meant to last. Same-sex marriages and registered domestic partnerships are recognized by California, and have similar rights to married couples.
Therefore, California law requires that all issues traditionally covered in a divorce are taken into consideration when dissolving a domestic partnership. This includes support, child custody, division of property, and more. There are two methods for ending a registered domestic partnership in California.
There are two methods for ending a registered domestic partnership in California.
Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership
If your domestic partnership meets certain requirements, the first step to take is a summary procedure. This involves filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State’s office.
After submitting this form, either party can withdraw the notice within six months. Once that time period has passed, the partnership is considered dissolved. For a list of these requirements, see the next section (Ending a Registered Domestic Partnership Without the Court’s Intervention).
Petition for Dissolution of Registered Domestic Partnership
The second method of dissolving your domestic partnership is similar to a divorce and involves one party filing a Petition for Dissolution of Registered Domestic Partnership (Form FL-103) with the Superior Court. In this situation, the other party files a response (Form FL-123) and both sides file other paperwork and motions as needed.
The second case proceeds in the same manner as if it were a divorce, meaning most of the information in the California Divorce Guide will apply to the case. The registered domestic partnership won’t be dissolved until the six-month period has passed (just like a divorce), and the parties involved negotiate a settlement or proceed to trial in a California court.
Also like dissolving a marriage, ending a registered domestic partnership requires patience through a complicated process. We understand that there are many pitfalls, since federal law differs significantly from California state law. It can lead to problems in areas such as tax filings or pension plan benefits.