For many couples living throughout Massachusetts, marriage is not the right answer; instead, a domestic partnership allows a couple to have legal recognition of their relationship without all the bells and whistles of a wedding ceremony. However, a domestic partnership that’s registered is still a legal relationship in the eyes of the law, which means that just breaking up won’t terminate the domestic partnership. Here’s what you should know about domestic partnership termination in Massachusetts and how the Law Office of Heather M. Ward can help. 

How to Terminate a Domestic Partnership

A domestic partnership, sometimes called a civil union, is a legal option for recognizing the relationship of a couple who is committed to one another, sharing a life together, but is not married. When a couple has a domestic partnership, they have many of the same rights as a married couple. 

To end a domestic partnership, the couple will need to embark on a process that’s similar to the process for divorce/dissolution of marriage. 

The process begins with filing a Statement of Terminating a Domestic Partnership with the county clerk where you live, and paying a filing fee. If there are no assets or children involved in the relationship, then the process could be over as soon as the forms are reviewed. If you do have children or shared assets, however, then you’ll need to construct a parenting plan, divide assets and debts, etc. 

Things to Consider When Ending a Domestic Partnership

When thinking about how complicated ending your domestic partnership may be and whether or not you’ll need a lawyer for representation, consider:

  • Do you have any shared children?
  • What assets do you share, such as a home?
  • Do you have any shared debts?
  • Is one of your financially dependent on the other, potentially leading to a support award? 

How a Domestic Partnership Termination Attorney Can Help

Even if you’re not married, if you have a domestic partnership and are thinking about ending your relationship, it’s important to work with an attorney. The role of an attorney is to protect your best interests and rights throughout the process. Your attorney can guide you through how to file a request for a dissolution of your domestic partnership, as well as what your rights are if you’re seeking an equitable division of property, child support, child custody, and more. 

Call Attorney Heather M. Ward Today 

We know that separating from a life partner is never easy. To learn more about your legal options and how to get started, call us today or send us a message by phone at (617) 903-8955 or online. Attorney Heather M. Ward has years of experience in family law and can start working on your case immediately.