If you want to build a life with your partner but choose not to marry there is an option to create a domestic partnership agreement that can benefit both of you. A domestic partnership agreement formalizes your relationship and offers each partner rights and benefits.
Domestic partnership topics
There are several elements that should be included in the domestic partnership agreement. It should state each partner’s name and contact information, as well as the purpose of the agreement.
If you want to share finances with your partner, you may want to include a section about how financial matters will be addressed. This could include how your income will be divided, which partner is responsible for household expenses or if those are shared, the percentage each partner will pay, and how debts will be managed.
If you and your partner have children, you may want to include details about parental rights and responsibilities.
The domestic partnership agreement should also state how long it will be in place, conditions that can cause the agreement to terminate, and how you and your partner will address disputes, including whether you choose to use alternative dispute resolution.
If you and your partner decide to separate, it’s important to review the domestic partnership agreement. You may need to notify several entities of the separation, especially those that can affect your or your partner’s benefits.
For example, if you carry health insurance for yourself and your partner, you may need to change that once you are no longer in a domestic partnership.