Domestic Partnership Rights by State

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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What Is a Domestic Partnership?

A Domestic Partnership is a relationship between two persons who are living together, but are not joined by marriage or civil union. In some states, a domestic partnership is almost the same as a marriage, with the couple being granted nearly the same rights and benefits as married persons. Some domestic partnership rights include some tax benefits, and employment benefits (such as family or medical leave). 

However, many states do not recognize domestic partnerships. Depending on state, county, or city laws, the couple may not eligible to receive the privileges and rights that are typically extended to a married couple. 

Which States Recognize Domestic Partnerships?

States that do recognize domestic partnerships often maintain a registry, which allows the couple to officially register and obtain domestic partnership status. Some areas do not maintain a registry, yet still extend domestic partnership rights some to couples. 

The following is state-by-state listing of the domestic partnership status of each state: 

Alabama

-Not recognized

Alaska

-Not recognized

Arizona

-Benefits extended in the cities of Tucson and Phoenix

Arkansas

-Not recognized

California

-Benefits extended in the cities of Berkeley, Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Petaluma, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and West Hollywood

-Benefits extended in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Ventura

-Registries maintained in the cities of Arcata, Berkeley, Cathedral City, Davis, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Oakland, Palo Alto, Sacramento, and San Francisco; and in the counties of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara

Colorado

-Benefits extended and domestic partner registry maintained in the city of Denver

Connecticut

-Benefits extended throughout state. 

-Registry maintained in the city of Hanford

Delaware

-Not recognized

Florida

-Benefits extended in the city of West Palm Beach

-Benefits extended and registry maintained in Broward County

Georgia

-Benefits extended and registry maintained in the city of Atlanta

Hawaii

-State extends benefits and maintains a domestic partnership registry

Idaho

-Not recognized

Illinois

-Benefits extended in the city of Chicago, and Cook County

-Benefits extended and registry maintained in Oak Park City

Indiana

-Benefits extended in the city of Bloomington

Iowa

-Benefits extended and registry maintained in Iowa City

Kansas

-Not recognized

Kentucky

-Not recognized

Louisiana

-Benefits extended in the city of New Orleans

Maine

-Benefits extended and registry maintained in the city of Portland

Maryland

-Benefits extended in the cities of Baltimore and Takoma Park, and in Montgomery County

Massachusetts

-Benefits extended in the cities of Boston, Brookline, Brewster, Nantucket, Springfield, and Provincetown

-Domestic partner registries maintained in the cities of Boston, Brewster, Brookline, Nantucket, Cambridge, and Northampton

Michigan

-Benefits extended in the city of Kalamazoo, and in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties

-Benefits and registries maintained in the cities of Ann Arbor, East Lansing

Minnesota

-Benefits extended and registry maintained in the city of Minneapolis

Mississippi

-Not recognized

Missouri

-Registry maintained in the city of St. Louis

Montana

-Not recognized

Nebraska

-Not recognized

Nevada

-State extends benefits and maintains a domestic partnership registry

New Hampshire

-Not recognized

New Jersey

-Benefits extended in the city of Delaware

New Mexico

-Benefits extended in the city of Albuquerque

New York

-Benefits extended in the cities of Brighton, Eastchester, Ithaca, Rochester, New York City, as well as Westchester County

-Registry maintained in the cities of Ithaca, Albany, New York City, and Rochester

North Carolina

-Benefits extended and registry in the city of Chapel Hill

-Registry maintained in the city of Carrboro

North Dakota

-Not recognized

Ohio

-Not recognized

Oklahoma

-Not recognized

Oregon

-Benefits extended throughout entire state

-Registry provided in the city of Ashland

Pennsylvania

-Benefits extended in the city of Philadelphia

Rhode Island

-Not recognized

South Carolina

-Not recognized

Tennessee

-Not recognized

Texas

-Benefits extended in Travis County

Utah

-Not recognized

Vermont

-Benefits extended throughout state

Virginia

-Benefits extended in Arlington County

Washington

-Benefits extended throughout state

-Registries maintained in the city of Lacey and the city of Seattle

West Virginia

-Not recognized

Wisconsin

-Benefits extended in the city of Madison, the city of Sherwood Hills Village, and in Dane County

-Registry maintained in the city of Milwaukee

Wyoming

-Not recognized

Do I Need a Lawyer for Domestic Partnership Issues?

If you need any assistance at all regarding the domestic partnership laws in your area, you may wish to contact a lawyer for advice. Your lawyer can help determine which rights and benefits are available to you as a couple, which can vary greatly by region. Also, if you have any disputes at all involving domestic partnership issues, a lawyer can help you present your case in court. 

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Last Modified: 10-03-2014 12:59 PM PDT

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