In California, couples who are in domestic partnerships can officially and legally end their relationships by getting a domestic partnership dissolution. This option is very much like a divorce for married couples, but some couples may wonder if there are any other alternatives. A domestic partnership dissolution may not make the most financial sense for some couples, and one possible alternative is to draw up a separation agreement.
Legally separating may be an intermediate step before the official end of a relationship, but it can also help the couple continue to take advantage of any financial benefits they get from being in a domestic partnership. However, this option also allows couples to set up separate residences and get a better idea of whether they want to go forward with a domestic partnership dissolution.
A legal separation is often much more complicated than some people assume. It is more than just living in separate houses and claiming to be separated. There are often other issues that come into play, such as setting up child support or deciding how any joint assets will be handled, and this is where a family law attorney can be of great benefit.
We work with couples involved in these types of cases on a regular basis and can help you understand the pros and cons of both a legal separation and a domestic partnership dissolution. If you are considering one of these options, it's important to get as much information as possible before moving forward to ensure you are aware of all of your options and know what to expect.