Provisions governing domestic partnerships are found in the California Family Code, commencing with section 297.
Establishing a Domestic Partnership: A domestic partnership is established when persons meeting the criteria specified by Family Code section 297 file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-1) with the Secretary of State. A copy of the declaration and a Certificate of Registration of Domestic Partnership will be returned to the partners after the declaration is filed. In addition, you will receive a brochure entitled, "Your Future Together," (pdf ~1.28MB) published by the State Department of Public Health. This brochure contains information for distribution to applicants who qualify as domestic partners.
Terminating a Domestic Partnership: The domestic partnership can be terminated under certain conditions, as provided by Family Code section 299, by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-2) with the Secretary of State. The domestic partnership shall be terminated effective six months after the date of filing of the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State provided that neither party has, before the effective date, filed with the Secretary of State a Revocation of Termination of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-3), as provided by Family Code section 299. If all conditions of Family Code section 299 are not met, domestic partnerships must be terminated through Dissolution proceedings in California Superior Court.
Please refer to DP Forms and Fees for filing instructions and domestic partnership forms.
The California Supreme Court decision issued on May 15, 2008, regarding same-sex marriages did not invalidate or change any of the Family Code statutes relating to registered domestic partners. Until a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership (Form NP/SF DP-2) is filed with the Secretary of State, a registered domestic partnership will remain active on the California's Domestic Partnership Registry. If a same-sex couple has both registered as domestic partners and has married, both legal relationships must be dissolved. Dissolving one does not automatically dissolve the other. For more individualized or detailed information please contact our office.
If the mailing address of a registered domestic partnership changes, the partners may update the address on the records of the Secretary of State by completing our online address change form.