When domestic partners separate, it is much the same as the separation of legally married couples. However many remain confused when it comes to the legalities in relation to the division of assets and the separation process of domestic partnerships.
It can be slightly more difficult to navigate the process of dividing property and debt as separating domestic partners. This is mainly because the exact laws differ significantly from state to state, and some states do not recognize domestic partnerships whatsoever.
Property division as domestic partners
As in marriages, any property that was acquired by either partner before their marriage will be considered as "separate property," and therefore, they will be entitled to keep all of that property after the separation.
The courts have the right to distribute the rest of the property based on what they deem most appropriate. This may be evenly, but it might be distributed unevenly instead, based upon the equity interest that each partner has in relation to it.
Spousal support after a domestic partnership
A judge can also determine what, if any, spousal support is to be paid after the domestic partnership ends. This judgment will be based on the total length of the domestic partnership and the differences in income between each partner. It will also assess each partner's age, health and ability to earn an income after the partnership is over.
If you are struggling to navigate the complex process of separating as domestic partners, it is important to take your time and conduct thorough research into the legal rights that you have in regard to the process.
Source: FindLaw, "Ending a Domestic Partnership," accessed Feb. 16, 2018