How does "same-sex marriage" work in Nevada?

Same-sex couples in committed relationships understandably seek the same protections and rights under the law as married couples receive. Having a legally-defined union can have a significant impact on many facets of the lives of committed partners. These include making medical decisions on behalf of a partner, visiting a partner in the hospital, and holding property during the relationship as community property.

It is important to secure these rights with the assistance of an experienced Nevada family law attorney. Our Las Vegas gay, lesbian and transgender rights attorneys can help you establish a domestic partnership and ensure that you and your partner receive the legal protections and rights you deserve.

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Does Nevada acknowledge same-sex marriage?

Yes.

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Who can enter into Nevada domestic partnerships?

The Domestic Partnership Responsibilities Act ... which was passed in 2009 ... allows same-sex couples in Nevada to enter into domestic partnerships.Two people may enter into a domestic partnership provided that five conditions are met:

  1. They share a common residence;

  2. Neither person is married or a member of another domestic partnership (though there are some limited exceptions to this condition);

  3. They are not related by blood by a degree that would preclude them from marrying under Nevada law;

  4. Both parties are at least 18 years of age; and

  5. Both parties are competent to consent to the partnership.

Provided those conditions are met, a couple entering into a domestic partnership must sign and file a notarized declaration with the Nevada Secretary of State. The declaration must state that each partner has chosen to share one another's lives in an “intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring,” and that the partners “desire of their own free will to enter into a domestic partnership.”

In addition to the declaration, is there a ceremony required to enter into a domestic partnership in Nevada?

No. Unlike the requirements for marriage in Nevada, a couple entering into a domestic partnership is not required to perform any solemnization ceremony for the partnership to be acknowledged under Nevada law.

Despite the lack of a solemnization ceremony requirement, couples entering into a domestic partnership are free to participate in a solemnization ceremony of their choosing upon the formation of a domestic partnership.

What rights do domestic partners have in Nevada?

Generally, the rights, protections, and benefits granted to married couples extend to couples in a domestic partnership.

Some of the more important rights granted to domestic partners include:

  • The right to hold property as community property;

  • The right to visit one another in the hospital should one partner fall ill;

  • The right to make medical decisions for the other partner in the event the partner becomes incapacitated;

  • Immunity from testifying against the other partner in court; and

  • The right to receive a portion of the partner's property if a partner dies intestate (without a will).

In addition to these rights granted to domestic partners, Nevada law creates legal and financial obligations for each partner. For example, domestic partners may be mutually responsible for any debts incurred to a third party, and a partner may seek financial support from the other partner in the event a partnership ends.

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Can domestic partners get “divorced" in Nevada?

In effect, yes. Though the dissolution of a domestic partnership is not known as divorce, domestic partners may end their partnership in a similar manner. In Nevada, there are two ways for domestic partners to terminate their partnership.

Partners may follow the divorce procedures provided by statute. Or if certain conditions are met, domestic partners may end the partnership by paying a fee and filing a Notice of Termination with the Secretary of State.

To be eligible for this simplified termination, the partnership must meet the following criteria:

  • The domestic partnership must have been registered for 5 years or less;

  • The partnership must have no minor children together born before or during the partnership or adopted by the partners during the partnership and no female member of the partnership is pregnant. Or, if there are children involved, the partners must have agreed to a custody and support agreement for any of the children;

  • There is no community or joint property, or the parties have entered into an agreement regarding the division of property; and

  • The partners waive any rights to support or have agreed to an amount and manner of support. The partners waive their right to participate in more comprehensive termination proceedings.

Why should I hire an attorney?

Having a legally-acknowledged domestic partnership can have a significant impact upon the rights of you and your partner. It is important that you secure the protections and rights you deserve under Nevada law. Call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) today.

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