Domestic Partnerships

Domestic Partnerships in Westlake Village

California Domestic Partnerships

Each of the 50 United States has its own laws regarding domestic partnership. In California, domestic partners are defined in Cal. Fam. Code §297 as "two adults who have chosen to share one another's lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring." In order to establish a domestic partnership, the two adults must file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State. They must also meet certain requirements:

  • Neither party may be married to someone else at the time
  • They may not be so closely related that a marriage would be illegal in California
  • They must each be at least 18 years of age (with few exceptions)
  • They must be members of the same sex, OR meet eligibility criteria under applicable sections of the Social Security Act or the United States Code for elderly couples

Looking to dissolve a domestic partnership in California?

If you are looking to establish or dissolve a domestic partnership in California, you will need the counsel of an experienced family law attorney. Richard Ross Associates can provide a Westlake Village divorce lawyer to guide you through the process or ending a domestic partnership, which is similar to but separate from divorce. We have over 30 years of extensive experience in family law, so you can have confidence in your attorney's ability to handle your case professionally and with a satisfactory outcome.

Speak with a Thousand Oaks Family Law Attorney

Attorney Richard Ross has more than 30 years of experience and is board certified in family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization, which is more than most attorneys can boast. Having undergone extensive testing and peer review, Mr. Ross is one of the most reliable and skilled family law attorneys in the Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks area. Our firm is prepared to provide the attention and care you deserve while handling your domestic partnership case. Contact us today!


  • I heartily recommend him to anybody in need of a well qualified, results-oriented, family law specialist.

    “I would not hesitate to, again, retain the legal services of Richard Ross.”

  • Our family and our dignity have been restored.

    “Mr. Ross and his supportive, competent staff put their hearts into their work and literally turned our lives around.”

  • The results far exceeded my expectations.

    “The entire staff at Richard Ross Associates really helped me through my divorce and they were with me the whole way.”

  • Extremely thorough and professional!

    “Richard has helped me through a very difficult divorce and I can't say enough good things about him.”

  • Polite, caring, and quick to respond.

    “Richard Ross is a subject matter expert in the field of family law.”


  • This is very important: If you have separated from your spouse before one of you has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, avoid agreeing to and placing into effect a temporary parenting plan arrangement regarding the children unless you will be able to live with this arrangement after the divorce papers have been filed. Once you begin a parenting plan that seems to be working, it becomes the "status quo." It is very difficult to convince a mediator or judge to change the status quo, especially if it is working or appears to be working and is not detrimental to the minor children.
  • If you have not received a judgment dissolving your marriage before the end of the year, you may file an individual tax return under the status of "married, filing separately" or a joint tax return with your spouse. You should consult your accountant as to the advantages of these options. You may obtain special information booklets regarding tax information for divorce or separated individuals from your local IRS office or read the IRS booklet online.
  • To file an action for divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, a person must have resided in the state of California for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months prior to filing the petition in court. This is true of either the petitioner or the respondent - either person can meet the test and allow a filing. If your spouse meets the residency requirement, you can file even if you do not meet it yourself.
  • The court can and usually will order you to move out of your residence if your spouse convinces the court that you have been violent toward your spouse or threatened your spouse. You could be given ex-parte notice to be in court the next day because your spouse is seeking an order to make you move out and stay out. You can be ordered to leave immediately and not return even if your spouse is not on the property title or lease agreement! Once you are ordered to leave, it is not likely that you will be allowed to return.
  • Before you get a divorce, photocopy all relevant financial documents that you can obtain and store them off-site with a trusted friend or relative. Do not store them in the trunk of your car where they can easily be found and removed by your spouse. There may be both personal and strategic reasons not to tip off your spouse that documents are being reviewed for a possible dissolution proceeding. Make copies of documents that you find in the residence and return the original documents to their original location as soon as possible so that your spouse won't notice that they are missing. It is often advisable to make the photocopies when you are sure your spouse is away for an extended time, such as during a workday. It is advisable to gather as many relevant financial documents as possible while they are still available and before they have been removed or destroyed by your spouse. This will significantly reduce the cost of divorce litigation if the documents do not have to be recovered later. It will also permit us to get a true picture of all community assets and debts as soon as possible.