Both domestic partnership and marriage are ways of formalizing a relationship with the one you love. While some couples consider marriage to be important for their relationship, the others are not able or willing to get married for a variety of reasons. Still, both marriage and domestic partnership have their benefits and drawbacks, and they both offer certain forms of legal protection for the couple.
Domestic partnership is the term most people connect with same-sex relationships, since same-sex marriages are still not allowed in most parts of the world. However, many heterosexual couples also opt for this type of relationship formalization. The legislation concerning formalization of such relationships differs depending on the part of the world. In some countries it is allowed to cohabitating couples of all ages, while in the others it only includes cohabitating couples older than certain age. Registering a civil partnership requires the couple to cohabitate, and they are generally required to sign a state or city registry.
The benefits also vary from one country to another. They generally include the right of one partner to carry health, dental and life insurance of the other and the right to take medical leave to take care of the partner. They also often include other benefits such as parental rights, death benefits and certain tax benefits.
While domestic partnerships are recognized and respected by the state or the country where the couple is registered, it may not be the case in other countries or on federal level. This means that domestic partners are required to file separate federal tax returns. Health insurance acquired through domestic partner is taxable, unlike that acquired through a partner in marriage. What’s more, every transfer of funds, assets and inheritance between domestic partners is considered taxable as well.
Even though not all couples are interested in getting married, it is undoubtedly true that formalizing your relationship this way can have certain legal benefits. First of all, marriage is legally recognized on federal level and in all foreign countries, unlike domestic partnership. Then, marriage also includes the rights to inherit, to sponsor a spouse for immigration and to change the last name. Social Security, veteran and pension benefits can also be received through the legal spouse. There are also certain tax benefits when filing tax returns as a married couple, which is not the case when doing so as domestic partners.
While marriage has quite a number of benefits over domestic partnership, there are some drawbacks of marriage too. The most obvious drawback is notable in case a couple reaches divorce. In this case, it is much easier to separate from a domestic partner than a spouse. Marriage involves a lot more legal concerns than domestic partnership, especially when it comes to a divorce.
Although they both have benefits and drawbacks, domestic partnership and marriage have something in common. Each of them is a way not only to gain some legal benefits, but also strengthen the bonds between the partners.Read More »