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Domestic Partnerships In Washington State

Domestic partnerships typically have the same issues and obstacles as a more traditional marriage when the relationship is ending. Under the law, however, dissolving a domestic partnership requires a more in-depth understanding of marriage and divorce laws in Washington state.

It is wise to seek the counsel of a seasoned domestic partnership lawyer if you have questions or concerns regarding a broad array of family law matters, especially those related to domestic partnerships and same-sex marriage.

Contact us at Cogdill Nichols Rein Wartelle Andrews online or by telephone at 425-259-6111 to speak with an experienced Everett attorney about how the law applies in your case.

Domestic Partnerships After The Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage In Washington

Same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington state on Feb. 13, 2012. Prior to this, domestic partnerships were the primary legal mechanism for same-sex couples seeking marital rights. They were also used for couples who do not want to be married, but wanted to share Social Security Disability or other insurance benefits.

When same-sex marriage was legalized, domestic partnerships in Washington were automatically changed into marriages, with two exceptions. Domestic partnerships that would not become marriages include:

  • Domestic partnerships that dissolve within the first two years of the partnership
  • Domestic partnerships that involve one party aged 62 years or older

Domestic partnerships still exist and serve a unique purpose for certain couples. If you are involved in one, remember that domestic partnerships are not covered by the same laws as traditional marriage. Community property and separate property are treated differently. Spouses will need to be in agreement with each other about the property, assets or debts.

As skilled mediators and accomplished family law litigators, we can guide our clients through these domestic partnership disputes toward a successful resolution and beneficial compromise.

Helping Domestic Partners With Various Family Law Issues

Our firm has experience guiding clients through family law issues as they relate to domestic partnerships. Whether you are struggling with ownership of property, listing of beneficiaries for retirement accounts or life insurance policies, we encourage you to contact a knowledgeable lawyer at our firm.

Additionally, there can be related estate planning issues. Essentially, if one partner passes away and there is not a comprehensive estate plan, the surviving partner does not have any legal right to the same portion of the estate that a spouse would. Through the drafting of estate planning documents such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney, you regain the control over who gets what after your passing.

Contact Our Firm For More Information

If you have questions or concerns regarding domestic partnerships, it is wise to schedule a consultation with a lawyer at Cogdill Nichols Rein Wartelle Andrews. We can be reached by phone or our online form.