Domestic Partnership and the Law

Please continue reading for more information about the domestic partnership services at Greensboro Family Law, in Greensboro, North Carolina or call 336-790-0165 today for a consultation with Rebecca Perry.

What Is Domestic Partnership?

Domestic partnership is a sometimes poorly defined legal concept designed to give lesbian, gay and transgender couples, and heterosexual couples who choose not to marry, some of the same or similar rights, benefits and protections afforded under legal marriage.

A domestic partnership agreement is basically a contract, or series of contracts, that acts to establish the rights of the domestic partners should the relationship end. Domestic partnership agreements can cover the division of property, assets and jointly held business interests and can also serve to define the roles that parents in domestic partnerships play in children's lives. A domestic partnership agreement can also establish a legal framework for the resolution of any disputes regarding children, money, property or taxes should the relationship end.

New Developments in Domestic Partnership in North Carolina

In two recent decisions by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the rights and responsibilities of lesbian couples ending a domestic partnership were further defined, at least regarding child custody. In both cases, the partnership agreement contract (or absence thereof) was taken by the court as evidence of what the couple intended when they decided to become parents. The parties' intentions were key to the court's decisions regarding the non-biological parent's right to visitation. These cases underscore the importance of domestic partnership and co-parenting agreements. If you and your partner are co-parenting children, a co-parenting agreement is essential to maintain visitation in the event of a breakup.

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