California Registered Domestic Partnership Law

We help put the ‘fair’ back in ‘fair fight’

While California same-sex marriage laws have been in a state of flux for the past few years, same-sex couples have retained the right to registered domestic partnerships (RDP). Couples with official RDP status possess many (but not all) of the same rights and protections enjoyed by married people.

If you and your family have been treated unfairly and you believe that your rights have been violated, talk with a San Francisco LGBT family law attorney at The Dolan Law Firm in San Francisco. We understand the complexity of California family laws and how they affect your family.

California Domestic Partners Act

Family Code Section 297 gives individuals who register as domestic partners the following rights and protections:

Families and Children

  • Children: The rights and obligations of registered domestic partners with respect to a child of either of them is the same as those of a heterosexual spouse (Family Code Section 297.5 (a)(b)).
  • Adoption: A registered domestic partner may adopt a partner’s child in the same manner as a heterosexual stepparent (Family Code Section 9000 (g)).

Health Care

  • Healthcare Coverage: Group health insurance and group disability insurance must offer coverage for registered domestic partners (Family Code Section 297; Health and Safety Code Section 1374.58; California Insurance Code Section 101-1.7).
  • Sick Leave: If an employer allows or is required by law to offer family and medical leave for heterosexual employees, that same right must be afforded to registered domestic partners (See Labor Code Section 233 and California Government Code Section 12945.2).
  • Healthcare Decisions: Registered domestic partners have the right to make health care decisions on behalf of their incapacitated partner (Probate code Section 4716).
  • Health Care Facility Visitation Rights: Except under certain prescribed conditions, health care facilities must allow domestic partners the right to visitation (California Health and Safety Code Section 1261).
  • Right to Claim State Disability Benefits on Behalf of Incapacitated Domestic Partner: A registered domestic partner may make a claim on behalf of his or her incapacitated domestic partner for state disability benefits under California Unemployment Insurance Code Section 2705.1.

Property Rights and Inheritance Rights

  • Transfer of Property/Inheritance: Transfers of property between registered domestic partners, at the death of one partner, or in connection with a property settlement agreement or decree of dissolution of a domestic partnership or legal separation, have the same rights regarding the transfer of property as those between members of a heterosexual couple.
  • Surviving Domestic Partners: The surviving registered domestic partner has the same rights, protections, and benefits and is subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under the law as are granted a widow/widower in a heterosexual relationship.
  • Legal Recovery/Wrongful Death: The registered domestic partner of an injured person may recover financially for the “negligent infliction of emotional distress.” A registered domestic partner of someone who is killed because of the negligent and willful act of another may recover under a legal action for wrongful death (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60 (a), and Section 1714.01).

LGBT Family Law

  • Terminating a Domestic Partnership: A couple in a registered domestic partnership may use the California family courts to seek a dissolution of the domestic partnership, including seeking a fair division of community assets and spousal support, if such support would be granted in a divorce action for a heterosexual couple.

The Dolan Law Firm is a gay-friendly law office helping clients in the LGBT community with a wide range of legal issues relating to violations of their civil rights because of their RDP status or their status as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person.

San Francisco LGBT Family Law

If you believe you have been discriminated against in housing, family or medical leave, employment, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one in a wrongful death case, we can help. Contact a California registered domestic partnership lawyer at our firm to schedule a free consultation.