How to End Domestic Partnership California

How to End Domestic Partnership in California

Domestic partnerships are legal relationships between two individuals that offer many of the same benefits and responsibilities as marriage. However, just like marriages, domestic partnerships may come to an end due to various reasons. If you are seeking to end your domestic partnership in California, there are specific legal steps you must follow. In this article, we will outline the process of ending a domestic partnership in California and answer some frequently asked questions.

The Process of Ending a Domestic Partnership in California

1. Determining Eligibility: To end a domestic partnership in California, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being a resident of the state or having established your domestic partnership in California. Additionally, you must be able to prove that your partnership is irretrievably broken or that you and your partner have irreconcilable differences.

2. Filing a Notice of Termination: The first step in ending a domestic partnership is filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form with the California Secretary of State. This form must be completed accurately, signed by both partners, and notarized. You will need to provide information about your partnership, such as the date it was established and whether any children are involved.

3. Serving the Notice of Termination: After filing the Notice of Termination, you must serve a copy of the notice to your domestic partner. This can be done through personal delivery, certified mail with return receipt requested, or by hiring a process server. It is crucial to keep proof of service, as it will be required during the court proceedings.

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4. Filing the Proof of Service: Once the Notice of Termination has been served, you must file the Proof of Service form with the California Secretary of State. This document confirms that your domestic partner received the notice and is aware of the termination proceedings.

5. Dissolving the Domestic Partnership: The final step in ending a domestic partnership is obtaining a judgment of dissolution from the court. You must file a Petition for Dissolution of Domestic Partnership with the appropriate superior court in your county. The court will review your case, assess any legal matters, and issue a judgment that officially terminates your domestic partnership.


Q: Can I end my domestic partnership without going to court?

A: No, in California, you must go through the court process to legally end a domestic partnership.

Q: How long does it take to dissolve a domestic partnership in California?

A: The time it takes to dissolve a domestic partnership varies depending on various factors, such as the complexity of your case and the court’s caseload. On average, it can take anywhere from a few months to over a year.

Q: Do I need an attorney to end my domestic partnership?

A: While it is not required to have an attorney, it is highly recommended. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, ensure all necessary documents are filed correctly, and represent your interests in court.

Q: What happens to our property and debts during the dissolution process?

A: Just like in a divorce, the court will divide your property and debts equitably. If you and your partner can reach an agreement, the court will likely approve it. Otherwise, the court will make the final decision based on the evidence presented.

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Q: How does ending a domestic partnership affect child custody and support?

A: Child custody and support issues are handled similarly to those in a divorce. The court will consider the best interests of the child when determining custody and calculate child support based on the parents’ income and other relevant factors.

In conclusion, ending a domestic partnership in California requires following specific legal procedures. By filing the necessary paperwork, serving the notice to your partner, and attending court proceedings, you can formally terminate your domestic partnership. It is essential to seek legal advice to ensure a smooth and fair dissolution process.

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