For couples who do not want to get married but want to live together, a domestic partnership might be the best choice. It allows you to remain in a committed relationship with someone you love without formally getting married to them.
Not many people, however, know how a domestic partnership works or the pros and cons of getting into such an arrangement. In this article, we take a look at the three most common misconceptions regarding domestic partnership Texas.
Misconception #1: Domestic Partnerships Are Only Meant for Same Sex Couples
This is perhaps the most common misconception associated with domestic partnership Texas. While it is true that domestic partnership agreements were mostly used by same-sex couples in the past, it is no longer the case. The Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015 (Obergefell vs. Hodges) has made it possible for same-sex couples in Texas to marry and enjoy all the state and federal benefits, just like their heterosexual counterparts do.
The truth is that domestic partnership Texas allows couples to live together and access each other’s benefits for as long as they want to. Domestic partnership agreements are easy to get into and easy to get out of. So, they are used by many couples who do not want to get married or want to live together for a while before deciding whether or not they should get married.
Misconception #2: Domestic Partnership Is an Alternative to Marriage
A domestic partnership Texas, irrespective of how long it lasts, is not an alternative to marriage. Married couples in Texas enjoy a wide range of benefits that are not available to couples in a domestic partnership.
For example, you are not entitled to receive your domestic partner’s social security, pension, or worker’s compensation benefits. You cannot refuse to testify against your domestic partner by invoking the spousal privilege. You cannot receive a share of your partner’s property in case you decide to separate (unless it is specified in your contract).
Misconception #3: Employers in Texas Are Required to Recognize Domestic Partnerships
There is no law in Texas that requires employers to recognize domestic partnerships or offer people in domestic partnerships the same benefits which are offered to married people.
There are, however, many employers in Texas who recognize domestic partnerships and offer a number of benefits (especially health and dental insurance) to people who are in a domestic partnership arrangement, even though they are not legally required to do so.
Why You Need a Good Domestic Partnership Texas Attorney
Unlike married couples, couples in a domestic partnership do not have any natural rights. Whatever benefit you get out of a domestic partnership is contract-based. In other words, you get whatever is specified in your contract. This is why it is important to have your domestic partnership agreement drawn up by an experienced family law attorney in Texas.
Eric M. Willie is a successful family law attorney who has handled an exceptionally wide range of family law-related issues over the years. He can draw up a comprehensive domestic partnership agreement that clearly specifies the duties and rights of each partner.
If you are looking to enter into a domestic partnership with someone and have any questions regarding the same, contact the Law Office of Willie & Dasher today at 512-982-0714 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment with one of our family law attorneys.