Under the California Domestic Partnership Act (DPA), “[r]egistered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under the law, whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law, or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.” California Family Code Sections 297(a).
Domestic partners have the same rights and obligations regarding spousal support, child support, child custody and community property as spouses.
Unlike marriages, there are two ways to terminate a domestic partnership:
1. The partnership can be terminated by filing with the California Secretary of State if the domestic partnership is not more than 5 years in duration, the parties have no children, no real estate, owe less than $25,000.00 in community debts, own less than $25,000.00 in community or separate assets and each party waives the right to spousal support.
2. Filing a petition to terminate the partnership in family court. This petition parallels a Petition for dissolution of marriage and involves all of the same issues: support, custody and property division.