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Is a Registered Domestic Partnership the Same As Marriage?

Serving Families Throughout Bend
same-sex couple sitting outside holding hands and smiling

Domestic partnerships are becoming a popular option for couples who wish to formally declare their relationship but don’t want to enter a legal marriage. Let’s go over what a domestic partnership is and how it is similar to a marriage.

What Is a Domestic Partnership?

In Oregon, same-sex couples may file for domestic partnership if they are at least 18 years old and share a domestic life together. This often entails living together, sharing financial responsibilities, and/or raising children.

Often, couples in domestic partnerships live as if they are married, without the legal label of being spouses.

How a Registered Domestic Partnership is Like a Marriage

Formally entering a domestic partnership allows couples to have many of the same rights and benefits given to married couples.

Individuals in domestic partnerships:

  • Have the right to not testify against their domestic partner
  • Will automatically inherit property if their domestic partner passes away without a valid will
  • Can visit their partner in the hospital and make medical decisions on their behalf
  • Can file for wrongful death benefits if their partner is involved in a fatal accident
  • Can utilize each other’s insurance benefits

How a Domestic Partnership Is Different Than a Marriage

One of the biggest differences between marriages and domestic partnerships is where they are recognized. Marriages are recognized in every state, but domestic partnerships are not. In fact, only seven states recognize domestic partnerships. There are no federal guidelines for domestic partnerships. One implication of this is that domestic partners cannot file joint federal taxes.

Domestic Partnership Lawyers in Bend, Oregon

In many aspects, married couples and domestic partners share the same legal rights in Oregon. If you and your partner wish to enter a legally recognized domestic partnership, our team at Baxter Law, LLC can help you through the process. We stay up-to-date on all laws regarding domestic partnerships and can answer any questions you may have. Get started today; call us at (541) 238-9210.