Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 122A.010 established the Nevada Domestic Partnership Act, which went into effect October 1, 2009. A “domestic partnership” in Nevada is a civil contract which grants domestic partners “…the same rights, protections, benefits, responsibilities, obligations and duties as…parties to any other civil contract….” Although NRS 122A.100(1)(a)(1) includes a requirement that parties in a domestic partnership “Have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring,” a domestic partnership is not a marriage for the purposes of Section 21 of Article 1 of the Nevada Constitution.
To be eligible to register a domestic partnership, two (2) persons must furnish proof that:
- Both persons must have a common residence;
- Neither person is married or a member of another domestic partnership;
- The two persons are not related by blood in a way that would prevent them from being married to each other in the State;
- Both persons are at least 18 years of age; and
- Both persons are competent to consent to the domestic partnership.
A valid domestic partnership must be registered in the State of Nevada on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State. http://nvsos.gov/index.aspx?page=269. The registration date of the domestic partnership is equivalent to the date of marriage.
Domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law as are granted to and imposed upon spouses. Former domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law as are granted to and imposed upon former spouses. A surviving domestic partner, following the death of the other partner, has the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law as are granted to and imposed upon a widow or a widower. The rights and obligations of domestic partners with respect to a child of either of them are the same as those of spouses. The rights and obligations of former or surviving domestic partners with respect to a child of either of them are the same as those of former surviving spouses. Essentially, without calling it a marriage, the Uniform Domestic Partnership Act grants the same rights, protections, and privileges which a couple entering into a valid Nevada marriage enjoy. Additionally, couples who have entered into a valid domestic partnership in other states will have their partnership recognized as valid in Nevada as well.
Provided a domestic partnership meets certain criteria outlined in NRS 122A.300, a domestic partnership may be terminated by following “simplified termination proceedings.” However, if domestic partners do not qualify for the “simplified termination proceedings,” then the procedures set forth in Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 125, entitled “Dissolution of Marriage” must be followed to terminate the domestic partnership. Like a divorce, issues of child custody and visitation, child support, division of property and debts and spousal support must be resolved prior to terminating the domestic partnership.
If you have questions regarding domestic partnerships, contact The Cooley Law Firm at (702) 265-4505 to schedule a consultation.
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