Domestic Partner Dissolution

Merrisa L. Coleman-Bishop - Dissolution of Domestic Partnerships

If you need advice about dissolving a registered same-sex domestic partnership or partition of real estate or other property you own jointly with another, contact San Jose family law attorney Merrisa Coleman-Bishop for sound advice and experienced representation. Her familiarity with California domestic partnership law and the hard decisions that must be faced in any dissolution can help you resolve disputes and get beyond this difficult period of your life.

For some partnership terminations, the legal dimensions are simple. For registered partnerships that do not involve children, real estate, involve relatively small amounts of community property and debt, and that have lasted less than five years, the partners can fill out a Notice of Termination form and file it with the California Secretary of State. The domestic partnership will then be dissolved.

Other domestic partnership dissolutions will be considerably more complicated, and will involve many of the same issues as a divorce case - division of the community property and indebtedness, determining one party's right to temporary or long-term financial support from the other, and child custody and child support issues. In cases in which one of the partners has a child from a prior relationship, the other partner might be able to establish shared parenting or visitation rights on the basis of the formation of a substantial and significant parental bond.

Persons who choose to go their separate ways after having bought a house together or commingled substantial assets, but who neither married nor registered their partnership, can face similar problems in dividing their joint assets and liabilities. In those cases, a partition action addressing issues similar to the winding up of a business partnership might be necessary to protect your interests.

For specific advice and representation in terminating a domestic partnership or disputes concerning particular aspects of the termination, contact Santa Clara County family law attorney Merrisa Coleman-Bishop.