Update on Domestic Partnerships & Same-Sex Marriage in California By James J. Tiehm, Esq.
Q. What is the current status of same-sex marriages in California?
A. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hollingsworth v. Perry, same-sex couples in California are again free to marry. The Supreme Court’s decision resulted in the overturning of California’s Proposition 8.
Q. What is the current status of domestic partnerships in California?
A. If you are already in a domestic partnership, it will not automatically become a marriage. You must go through the formal legal steps required for any couple to marry, though you are also free to remain solely domestic partners if you do not wish to marry.
Q. What about same-sex couples married before Proposition 8 or outside of California?
A. Those same-sex couples who married in California between June 16, 2008 and November 5, 2008 (after the Strauss v. Horton decision but before the passage of Proposition 8), do not need to remarry. Their marriages are recognized by California. Additionally, if you were married in another jurisdiction, California will recognize that marriage as valid.
Q. What is the divorce process for same-sex marriages or domestic partnerships?
A. The divorce process in California is the same for all couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex. If you are in a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership and are considering divorce, you should consider legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected. Determining parentage, custody, and visitation can be particularly complex for same-sex couples. You should seek legal counsel who is familiar with the legal issues that affect your family.
About the Author James J. Tiehm, Esq.
James recently joined Family Law Center as a family law attorney and is eager to serve the LGBT Community. He is currently a board member of SacLEGAL: Sacramento’s LGBT Bar Association, a member of the LGBT Bar Association, and a member of the Sacramento LGBT Center’s Leadership Council. James is excited to be joining the Family Law Center, especially because of its history of serving the LGBT community in the greater Sacramento area, including the counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo.