Domestic Partnership vs Marriage: Benefits and Differences

Some couples may wonder what’s the difference between domestic partnership and marriage? In many ways, both types of partnership are similar. A marriage is a civil union entered between a man and a woman and recognized in the eyes of the law. A married couple enjoys certain protections and benefits under the law. Tax benefits and health care benefits are two of the more widely known ones. The term “domestic partnership” loosely means an unmarried couple living together in a relationship akin to marriage. It could be formalized with a private agreement or simply develop over time. In family law, this is a loose term, except that now in Oregon same sex couples can register their domestic partnership which allows them more protections and benefits that are like marriage.

Should I Choose Domestic Partnership or Marriage

Domestic partnerships do not have the same benefits that a marriage does. However, they are easier to form and dissolve – a marriage is not. One potential problem with domestic partnership over marriage is that Federal law does not recognize these partnerships, otherwise known as civil unions in some States. The benefits of a domestic partnership are typically only active in the State in which you reside. If you were to move across states, your may not be recognized. It should also be noted that only same-sex couples may register for domestic partnership.

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