Like other facets of marriage, the laws and benefits that apply to domestic partnerships vary. Some couples prefer avoiding the process of marriage, thus opting for alternative legal relationships. When deciding on a legal relationship alternative to marriage, it is important to understand that there are also different rules, laws, procedures and benefits than those associated with a legal marriage. This applies to domestic partnerships.
In most states, couples wishing to have a legally recognized domestic partnership share the requirements of being formed by signing a state registry. It is important to understand that unlike marriages, these partnerships are not recognized by all states and countries. Furthermore, there are other benefits, such as joint tax returns, Social Security benefits, and pre-tax benefits of health insurance, that married couples may enjoy…whereas domestic partners may not.
In light of the varying laws and benefits of this relationship, many couples prefer it to marriage as they are still able to share the same feelings and bonding with their partner, but when it comes to ending the relationship, are burdened with fewer legal issues often associated with divorce.
Here are some common pros and cons associated with domestic partnerships:
- Domestic partner benefits: Although they may vary, domestic partners may enjoy the benefits of participating in their partner’s benefits such as health and life insurances, death benefits, parent rights, family leaves, and taxes.
- Official recognition of their partnership: Just as a marriage, it is important to be officially and legally recognized as having a commitment to the other person.
- Domestic partnerships aren’t available in all states: Although recognized in some cities, counties and states, it isn’t recognized in all of them.
- Benefits will vary: Although there may be some benefits afforded to domestic partners, this isn’t consistent across all states.