On July 22, 2007, the historic law known as the State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) signed by Governor Christine Gregoire took effect. On that date, Washington began to recognize the legal rights of same-sex couples to form a binding union. This union is referred to as a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP). This gave them certain rights and responsibilities. The process to terminate a SRDP in Washington is much like ending a marriage; you must follow the same procedures as ending a marriage which means filing a dissolution action in state Superior Court and having the court enter an order dissolving your SRDP. If you and your partner have children together, again like in a divorce action, the court will be able to set a parenting plan and establish child support for the children. If you and/or your partner are pregnant at the time your domestic partnership is dissolved, the laws of parentage would apply.
On February 13, 2012, Washington State recognized the rights of same-sex couples to marry. As such, same-sex parties who are legally married must use the usual court procedures to terminate their marriage.
Issues Which May Complicate A Dissolution or Same-Sex Divorce
Some couples have registered as domestic partners and since been legally married. Those couples face the added task of not only filing for dissolution of their marriage but terminating their State Registered Domestic Partnership.
Further complicating the same-sex divorce issue will be couples who have since relocated out of Washington. Issues of community property, child custody and visitation, and child and spousal support, are also part of the intricate web of dissolving a same-sex union. If you have moved out of Washington, the courts here may have jurisdiction over the marriage, but may no longer have jurisdiction over issues of custody, support or property rights. It is important that you speak with someone who has knowledge and experience in this area prior to making any decisions on how you will terminate your union. At Harbor Family Law, we have the necessary experience to guide our clients through this process.
We will Guide You Through the Legal System
Harbor Family Law is familiar with the complexities of dissolving a same-sex union, whether it be a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) or a same-sex marriage. We are well-versed and understand how to navigate this process in order to best protect our client’s interests.
Managing Your Legal Separation Case in A Cost-Effective Manner
We focus our practice exclusively on family law. This narrow focus has allowed us to develop not only extensive knowledge in the area of family law, but also business practices making us as efficient as possible, which keeps our clients’ costs to a minimum while maintaining a high level of representation. We cannot guarantee the cost of fees involved in any legal case; however, all our work is performed with the goal of being effective and efficient.
Area of Coverage
We serve clients in same-sex marriage and State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) family law cases throughout the Pierce, Kitsap, South King, and Thurston County areas.