Domestic Partnership Agreement Template

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A domestic partnership agreement is a legal document that is enforceable under law and serves to protect the rights of both partners. This agreement can be used by couples living together but who have not married yet. Create your domestic partnership agreement template on Lawrina and download a customized PDF document in a moment.
Paper titled "Domestic Partnership Agreement"; pen; woman and man shaking hands; armchair, table, plant, lamp

Domestic partnership agreements are contracts that are enforceable under law and serve to protect the rights of both partners. This agreement can be used by couples living together but have not yet tied the knot. It establishes clear expectations for how they will share financial and domestic obligations. It doesn't matter what kind of domestic partnership you and your partner have; this agreement can help you out.

Our partner agreement sample gives you easy-to-follow instructions. In the following sections, we'll look at a domestic partnership agreement. We’ll answer some questions about who can enter into one, why it's necessary, and how to use the domestic partnership agreement template efficiently.

Parties of the Domestic Partnership Agreement

  • Primary Partners — The parties entering the domestic partnership agreement. Because they are directly involved, these parties are subject to the terms and conditions specified in the partnership agreement. The majority of the time, the primary partners share a residence, financial responsibilities, and other aspects of their lives.

  • Witnesses — Individuals who are not partners but are essential to the contract’s validity. Their job is to make sure the two main parties aren't being forced into signing the contract. It strengthens the document's credibility and raises the odds that it will be upheld in court. It is highly recommended that you consult a local attorney, specifically with someone who has experience in the specific witness requirements in your jurisdiction before creating a domestic partnership document.

Key Terms

  • Property Division — This section details how assets and debts will be shared if the partnership ends.

  • Financial Obligations — It specifies how financial obligations, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, and groceries, will be divided.

  • Medical and Health Care — This section addresses topics such as health insurance coverage and medical decision-making. This is also a good way to include partners in kin and family-only visits in hospitals.

  • Dispute Resolution — Outlines the procedures for resolving conflicts and disagreements.

  • Termination — The conditions and procedures for terminating the domestic partnership are outlined here.

What To Include in the Domestic Partnership Form

A well-written domestic partnership agreement form includes:

  1. Personal Information — Full names and contact details of the parties

  2. Date — The effective date of the agreement

  3. Responsibilities and Rights — Each partner’s obligations in detail

  4. Property and Debt — Detailed outline of property and debt division

  5. Termination Clause — Terms under which the domestic partnership agreement form can be terminated

How To Create a Domestic Partnership Agreement

Using the provided domestic partnership agreement template, it’s easy to create a customizable document that best suits your partnership.

1. Coordinate With the Counterpart

Your partner and you should participate in the drafting of the domestic partnership agreement to ensure it reflects your expectations.

2. Negotiate Essential Terms of the Contract

Partners in a domestic partnership agreement should negotiate all the terms in good faith, address any concerns, and reach agreeable solutions. Using our domestic partnership agreement template will make this process easier.

3. Fill In All the Necessary Information

The domestic partnership agreement should be detailed and well-written. To minimize misunderstanding, it is critical to disclose every relevant fact.

When To Use a Domestic Partnership Agreement

A domestic partnership agreement is a great choice for unmarried couples who want to establish legal guidelines. Use it when splitting funds, cohabiting in a home, beginning a joint business endeavor, or splitting child custody. In these cases, the agreement clarifies rights and obligations. 

Avoid it, though, if your commitment is questionable or your jurisdiction does not recognize domestic partnerships. Always get legal advice to ensure that the agreement is in accordance with local laws and your individual needs.

Common Use Cases

  • Shared Finances — The domestic partnership agreement is an ideal option when partners share financial resources;

  • Property Ownership — In case one of the partners has property and the other one is moving in; and

  • Business Partnerships — Use the domestic partnership agreement when you and your partner run a business together.

When Not to Use a Domestic Partnership Agreement

In some cases, the couples should reconsider signing a domestic partnership agreement. This could happen if:

  • You want to avoid commitment — This agreement is legally binding and created for partners who are ready and willing to commit to the relationship;
  • Your jurisdiction doesn’t recognize it — Some areas might not recognize the legality of this agreement, so it’s a good idea to consult with a legal professional before making any arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a domestic partnership agreement be used to establish inheritance rights?

Yes, a domestic partnership agreement can include provisions regarding inheritance, ensuring that a deceased partner's assets are transferred to the surviving partner.

Do I need to hire a lawyer to draft a domestic partnership agreement?

While it’s not necessary to hire a lawyer when drafting a domestic partnership agreement, it’s highly recommended. Your local lawyer can provide legal counseling, check if the agreement is enforceable, and resolve any other issues you might have. So, it’s a good idea to talk to a professional or use the provided domestic partnership agreement template to get started right away.

If I move to another state, is my domestic partnership agreement still valid?

Considering the rules and regulations on domestic partnership agreements are very different from state to state, it’s important to know your legal status. When you and your partner need to move, it’s a good idea to review your domestic partnership agreement. Make all the changes required that will make your agreement legal in the new state or country. This way, you can be sure all the rights and duties you agreed on remain the same.

If I die or become incapacitated, what happens to my partner if I don’t have a domestic partnership agreement?

There are certain rights that are only reserved for married couples. This might include receiving inheritance, making medical choices, and gaining other rights. Without a domestic partnership agreement, your partner can face difficulties when trying to enforce their rights. To protect your domestic partner's interests, it's always a good idea to draft a domestic partnership agreement or consult with a professional with experience in family law.