When it comes to ending a domestic partnership, just as forming one, the process will vary from state to state. All said and done, the process for ending the partnership is typically similar to that of ending a marriage.
Domestic partnership laws
Since all states don’t recognize domestic partnerships, the only states that can terminate them are those that recognize them. This is also important as the level of benefits afforded and available will vary. For instance, some states provide the opportunity to adopt children as well as have specific property rules and rights.
California is currently that state that offers domestic partnerships benefits most consistent with those they provide to married spouses.
Examples of state requirements when terminating a domestic partnership:
California: There are two ways to terminate a domestic partnership in California. If certain requirements are met, a domestic partnership may be terminated by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. In order to qualify, all of the following requirements must be met:
1. Domestic partnership lasted less than 5 years.
2. No children were born before or during the domestic partnership.
3. No children were adopted during the domestic partnership.
4. Neither party is pregnant.
5. Neither party has any interest in real estate.
6. Neither party is renting any land or building.
7. Except for automobile loans, community obligations must not exceed $5,000.
8. Except for automobiles, community property must be worth less than $33,000.
9. Except for automobiles, neither party has separate property totaling more than $33,000.
10. Both parties must be in agreement that they do not want money or support from the other partner except what is included in the property settlement agreement dividing the community property and community obligations.
Additionally, one of the partners must have lived in California for the last 6 months.
If any of these requirements are not met, the parties must initiate dissolution proceedings in the Superior Court. Any one of the following three petitions can be filed:
1. Petition for dissolution of domestic partnership;
2. Petition for judgment of nullity of domestic partnership; or
3. Petition for legal Separation of Domestic Partnership.
These proceedings are similar to divorce and you may need a qualified California family lawyer to assist you.
Colorado: To terminate a domestic partnership in Colorado, at least one of the partners must file a Notice of Termination Form with a state clerk. Colorado requires that at least one partner in the relationship must be a resident of the state for 90 days before filing. Additionally, the filing partner must also show at least one of the following:
1. They are no longer in a committed relationship
2. They no longer share a common household
3. One of the partners is deceased
4. One or both of the partners has more than one partner
5. One or both partners have become or expected to become married
Maine: To end a domestic relationship in Maine, one of the partners must have resided in the state for at least six months prior to filing for termination. An alternative is that one of the partners may file for termination if one of the causes for ending the partnership occurred in the state while the partner was residing in Maine:
2. Extreme cruelty
3. Desertion for 3 consecutive years prior to filing
4. Gross and confirmed habits of intoxication from the use of liquor or drugs
5. Cruel and abusive treatment
6. Mental illness requiring confinement in a mental institution for at least 7 consecutive years prior to filing
7. Wanton negligence for the support and care of the other partner