A Domestic Partnership is a deeper relation between two individuals living together sharing every day, without being married to each other, or anyone else for that matter. Couples living in a Domestic Partnership have certain rights, like the “Right of Survivorship”, some health care and also other rights. The expression “Domestic Partnership” isn´t used everywhere, some use other expressions like “Civil Union”, “Civil Partnership” or “Registered Partnership”. This can lead to some confusion. What is good to know is that it, in the big picture, is all the same as a Domestic Partnership which is the most common expression. Some countries have national laws where everybody is free to form a Domestic Partnership, same sex as well as different sexes, while some jurisdictions demand a court order to decide. Depending on where you are in the world it looks a lot different. Even though you are living together or are partners for life, there can be trouble when someone dies and there is need for an estate inventory. To be safe it is crucial to check the laws where you live. In some countries and states, those living in a Domestic Partnership can subscribe for a so called “Nonmarital Relationship Contract”, both oral and in writing, whereas a written one of course is better in the event of a dispute. With this contract the couple reach a level comparable to marriage.
Domestic Partnership in America
When it comes to homosexuals’ rights in a partnership it is very different depending on what country you live in. In America the rights differ between the states as well. The most liberal states are California, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado. In these states, the partnerships are supported and the rights in a Domestic Partnership are similar to the rights of an “ordinary” marriage. The first Domestic Partnership in USA started in California in 1999. From 1/1 2020 all relationships, whether they are between different or same sexes, have the right to join in a Domestic Partnership with legal support, provided that the parties both are 18 years or older. Even though 50 states recognize same sex relationships within the law, there are local deviations. In some cities same-sex relationships are seen as unnatural and there is no support at all from the law, or from most of the people.
Domestic Partnership in Europe
Pacte Civil de Solidarité is a French agreement between two adults living together in a relationship. This is a kind of civil union between the two parties giving them rights as well as obligations resembling the ones in a marriage. Europe, in general, has come very far when it comes to same sex partnerships. In many European countries a so-called registered partnership is completely comparable to a marriage and they are also allowed to get married. In Sweden, for example, same sex partners are also allowed to adopt children!