"Domestic Partnerships" in Nevada


Domestic partnership in Nevada is a form of legal union available to couples of any gender. Domestic partnership offers couples nearly all the same rights and responsibilities granted pursuant to marriage in Nevada.

Entering into a domestic partnership is a simple matter of paying a fee and filing a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Nevada Secretary of State. Additionally, domestic partners can dissolve their union without going through Nevada divorce proceedings.

People who do not wish to get married or register as domestic partners can get many of the same benefits through a Nevada cohabitation agreement.

But there are still more rights granted to spouses than to domestic partners or people who live together. Marriage confers certain federal tax advantages not available to domestic partners. It also grants surviving spouses rights in social security and federal pension benefits that are not available to domestic partners.

And domestic partnership grants certain rights not available to people who live together. The most important of these is the right to inherit from a domestic partner in the absence of a will.

The following chart offers a brief summary of the rights available in each form of civil union:

 

Marriage

Legal Partners

Cohab. agmt.

Community property

X

X

X

Financial support

X

X

X

Inherit w/o will

X

X

 

Hospital visitation

X

X

X

Medical decisions

X

X

X

Sue for wrongful death 

X

 X*

 

Right not to testify

X

 X*

 

Soc. Sec.spousal benefits

X

   

Veteran's spousal benefits

X

   

Fed. spousal health ins.

X

   

Fed. pension benefits

X

   
   

*Under NV law

all rights optional

To help you better understand Nevada's domestic partnership laws, our Las Vegas family law attorneys discuss the following, below:

You may also wish to see our article on Same-Sex Marriage and Domestic Partnerships in Nevada.

happy male and female couple snuggling
Being domestic partners has many of the same advantages as being married does in Nevada.

1. Requirements for a domestic partnership in Nevada

Under Chapter 122A of the Nevada Revised Statutes, both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples may register as domestic partners in Nevada if:

  • Both people are at least 18 years old;
  • The couple resides together;
  • Neither partner is currently married or in a domestic partnership with another person;
  • The couple is not closely related by blood; and
  • Both partners are legally capable of consenting to the domestic partnership.1

2. How to enter into a domestic partnership in Nevada

To register as domestic partners in Nevada, couples must file a Domestic Partnership Declaration registration form with the Nevada Secretary of State. Each partner must sign and have the form notarized separately.

There is a registration fee of $50, which includes a black and white certificate. A ceremonial certificate is available for an additional $15.

It is possible to get this process expedited in as little as two hours. There is an additional $100 fee for expedited service.

If a couple is already married or registered as domestic partners in another state, they still must register in the state of Nevada in order for the state to recognize them as domestic partners. (Married people do not need to get married again or register in order to be recognized as a married couple).

If you are already married or registered in another state, the filing fee will be waived upon presentation of your marriage or partnership certificate from the other state.2

3. Ceremony for a domestic partnership in Nevada

No solemnization ceremony is required in order to enter into a binding domestic partnership in Nevada.

Conversely, there is no requirement that any religion conducts a partnership ceremony. Each religious faith is free to determine whether to offer or allow a ceremony or blessing of domestic partnerships.3

Happy male couple snuggling
Domestic partners may be of any gender in Nevada.

4. Benefits of being domestic partners in Nevada

Nevada law confers numerous rights on domestic partners. Some of the most important rights accorded to domestic partners in Nevada are:

  • Nevada community property rights;
  • The right to financial support from a partner (similar to Nevada alimony);
  • The right to inherit from a partner in the absence of a will; 
  • The right to visit a partner in the hospital;
  • 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 in Nevada; and
  • The right not to testify against a partner in state court.4

5. The difference between marriage, domestic partnership, and cohabitation

Domestic partners in Nevada must continue to file as “single” individuals on their federal tax returns. However, the amount of reported income may change as a result of each partner owning half of any income earned by the partnership.

More importantly, domestic partners are not at present entitled to receive Social Security or Veteran's benefits on the death or disability of a partner. Domestic partners are also not entitled to the same insurance and pension benefits available to people who work for the U.S. government.

On the plus side, it can be easier and less expensive both to enter into and to dissolve a domestic partnership.

Couples can get many of the same benefits by entering into a cohabitation agreement. In a cohabitation agreement, however, all terms must be individually agreed to and proven in court if there is a dispute. With marriage and domestic partnership, such benefits are automatic.

Your Las Vegas family law attorney can help you determine whether a Nevada marriage, partnership or cohabitation agreement is best for your particular situation.5

Also see our article, 5 differences between domestic partnerships and marriage in Nevada.

6. How to end a domestic partnership in Nevada

There are two ways to accomplish dissolution of a domestic partnership in Nevada:

  1. File a petition in family court as if it were a divorce, or
  2. If the couple qualifies, file a Termination of Partnership with the Nevada Secretary of State.

A couple may file a Termination of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State if the partners:

  • Have been registered as partners in the Nevada for five (5) years or less; 
  • Have no minor children or and have executed an agreement for child custody and support;
  • Have no community or joint property or have an executed agreement as to the disposition of such property; 
  • Waive any right to future support or have an executed agreement regarding support; and 
  • Waive their right to a more comprehensive proceeding pursuant to chapter 125 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.6

Need help with family law issues in Las Vegas? Call us…

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Call our Las Vegas family law attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation today.

If you are considering formalizing your relationship with your partner in Las Vegas, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.

Our experienced Las Vegas marriage lawyers can help you determine whether it is better to get married or create a partnership in Nevada.

We can also help if you need a Nevada prenuptial agreement or an agreement for dissolution of a partnership in Nevada.

To schedule your FREE, confidential consultation call us at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) or complete the form on this page.

Also see our related article on how to determine custody of children with unmarried parents.


Legal References

  1. NRS 122A.100.
  2. Id.; NRS 122A.110.
  3. NRS 122A.110.
  4. NRS 122A.120; Latta v. Otter, U.S. App. LEXIS 19620 (2014)("Nevada...has enacted a domestic partnership regime. Since 2009, both same-sex and opposite-sex couples have been allowed to register as domestic partners. Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 122A.100, 122A.010 et seq. Domestic partners are generally treated like married couples for purposes of rights and responsibilities—including with respect to children—under state law. However, domestic partners are denied nearly all of the benefits afforded married couples under federal law—including, since Windsor, same-sex couples married under state law."); see Saintal v. Cox, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93765 (2014)("AR 815.02 prohibits inmates to enter into a domestic partnership. The regulation alone does not inherently draw a distinction based on sexual orientation[.]"); Ed Vogellas, "Las Vegas men get domestic partnership certificate No. 1," Las Vegas Review-Journal (October 1, 2009).
  5. See NRS 122A.510; NRS 122A.210.
  6. NRS 122A.300; see also Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure NRCP 16.2 Mandatory Prejudgment Discovery Requirements in Family Law Actions (Not Including Paternity or Custody Actions Between Unmarried Persons)("(a) Applicability.  This rule replaces Rule 16.1 in all divorce, annulment, separate maintenance, and dissolution of domestic partnership actions. Nothing in this rule precludes a party from conducting discovery under any other of these rules.").

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