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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Can I marry my Registered Domestic Partner without Terminating

Resolved Question:

Can I marry my Registered Domestic Partner without Terminating the Domestic Partnership?

I am a female 65 years of age and my Domestic Partner is a male 64 years of age.
Submitted: 1 year ago via USmarriagelaws.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. Domestic Partnership serves as an alternative to marriage, the two are by their nature mutually exclusive (see CA Fam. Code 297: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=00001-01000&file=297-297.5). To qualify to be married, the two individuals may not already be married http://www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/birthdeathmar/Pages/MarriageLicenseceremonygeneralinfo.aspx, this includes the Registered Domestic Partnership legal relationship.

William B. Esq. :

To best understand this, think of these relationships as state recognition or categorization of your relationship with your partner. You can be single, a registered domestic partner, or a spouse. The state cannot categorize you in multiple ways for these purposes.

Customer:

That didn't really answer my question. I read in the Secretary of State website a question about how to terminate a Domestic Partnership and marriage in the same process. That would assume that they would be both DP and Married. Please respond

William B. Esq. :

Yes, you would terminate the DP, then you would be married, you cannot be both at the same time.

Customer:

Then how would I handle Terminating the DP and waiting 6 months to get married when this would seriously affect my partner's medical coverage if we weren't DP or married for that 6 month waiting period?

William B. Esq. :

If I understand you correctly, you are working with a Social Security issue. To resolve this you need to contact your local social security office and make an arrangement for an appointment in person (it depends on the back up in your office, but plan for a couple of hours in case you need to wait). They will be able to review your Partner's case and help you with dealing with coverage during this 6 month period. If you are unable to get a resolution through the Social Security office, you will need to contact a Social Security attorney to assist you in an appeal (you can do it yourself, but an attorney will help you avoid missing deadlines and move you through the administrative process much more efficiently).

Customer:

Thank you for responding, but I'm not satisfied with your responses.

William B. Esq. :

What can I address to better assist you?

Customer:

I don't understand why we cannot just get married to each other since we are actually "married" to each other as Domestic Partners? I did read your first response, but that doesn't really address our issue clearly.

William B. Esq. :

Unfortunately, the state law allowing you to be registered domestic partners does not entitle you to federal benefits. If you are married under state law, you are entitled to federal benefits. The difference between the two is significant as to the benefits. (Please remember, I do not make these rules, they are made by Congress, I can only tell you what they are, I want to give you the rules as accurately as possible, even if they are adverse to your desired outcome so that you can plan accordingly).

Customer:

If the Secretary of State says you can terminate your Domestic Partnership and Marriage in the same process, that would mean that the would have to be Married and DP at the same time . . . doesn't that make sense to you?

William B. Esq. :

No, terminate means to end - that means your domestic partnership no longer exists.

Customer:

I feel like I'm spinning my wheels with you. Thank you for the information you provided.

William B. Esq. :

I am sorry that you feel that way. I will try again: You cannot keep your DP and be married at the same time. It is not possible under CA law.

William B. Esq. :

(I truly do want to help as much as possible, and will work with you as best as I can).

Customer:

I'm sorry you couldn't understand the scope of what I'm trying to accomplish. I am going to sign off now. Thank you William

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend,

I am sorry for the above. Please allow me to answer your question.

Can I marry my Registered Domestic Partner without Terminating the Domestic Partnership?

The answer is yes. California does not require you to terminate your domestic partnership before marriage.

This is supported by the Secretary of State's website which contains the following:

How do you terminate a registered domestic partnership in which the domestic partners also are married to each other?

Partners in a registered domestic partnership who also are married to one another may file a petition in California Superior Court to dissolve both the domestic partnership and the marriage in a single proceeding. If you have questions about dissolving a domestic partnership and marriage in these circumstances, you should consult with private legal counsel.

See here.

In other words, California seems to allow domestic partners to marry WHILE still having a domestic partnership, judging from the above. They may then - if they want to - terminate either/both via a petition.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 88124
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Ely,


 


Thank you so much for clarifying what William B. Esq. couldn't.


I would be happy to give you my satisfactory rating.


 


Since I finished the "chat" with William, my partner and I found the answers about being able to be DPs and Married at the same time. Perhaps you can enlighten William B. Esq. with how you researched this issue so he can give more accurate answers in the future.


 


Thanks very much and have a great day!


Louise

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Friend,

Thank you for your kind feedback. I'll let the other expert know.

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