What are "Domestic Partnerships" in Nevada?

In 2009, the state Assembly of Nevada voted 28-14 to override Govenor Jim Gibbons' veto of a domestic partner bill which gave similar rights, normally reserved for married couples, to couples in domestic partnerships.

The state of Nevada thus now recognizes domestic partnerships as they are understood to be a legally recognized relationship between two people that confers nearly all the same rights and responsibilities under state law as marriage.

To create a domestic partnership, the two people must register with the Nevada Secretary of State with there being no limitation on whether the registering couple is of different or same sex.  To qualify as a registering couple, both people must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Live together
  • Not be involved in another ongoing marriage or domestic partnership
  • Not be closely related by blood
  • Be legally capable of consenting to the domestic partnership

Once these requirements have been met, the couple will file a one-page Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Nevada Secretary of State which will be signed and notarized.  It is important to note that if a couple is already married, or registered as domestic partners, in another state they still must register as domestic partners in the state of Nevada with the Secretary of State.  This will allow the state of Nevada to legally recognize the relationship.

What are the benefits of "domestic partnerships" in Nevada?

The benefits of having Nevada legally recognize the relationship include; automatic rights for hospital visitation, medical decision making and the authority to receive information about a partner's medical condition; the right to seek money damages for a partner's wrongful death; the right to inherit in the absence of a will; the right to hold property as being community property; the right not to testify against a domestic partner; and many others.  It is important to note that when the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was in effect, it was not possible to provide domestic partners with all of the rights and responsibilities given to a couple who is legally married.  However, since DOMA has now been overturned, it is possible that states may put additional benefits on the table in the future.

In terms of tax return filings, domestic partners will still continue to file as a “single” individual but the amount of income that is reported will change due to the fact that each partner owns half of any income earned once the domestic partnership is official.

In the event that the parties wish to dissolve the domestic partnership, they may file a petition for termination in family court just as would be done for a dissolution of marriage.  Or, if the couple have been domestic partners for less than five years, have no minor children, have no community property, waive any rights to support and any rights to more comprehensive proceedings, a one page Termination of Domestic Partnership may be filed.

Contact a Nevada family law attorney...

If you feel you need assistance with the creation or dissolution of a domestic partnership, seek the help of qualified and experienced legal counsel. Las Vegas Defense Group has years of experience in the area of law and can be reached at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).

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