domestic partnership vs. marriage
Family Law

Domestic Partnership Vs. Marriage – What Is The Difference?

| July 2, 2021 | Last Updated on: December 20, 2023

A domestic partnership is undoubtedly legal because two people living together and sharing a domestic life are similar to a marriage. However, the legality might vary from state to state and from country to country.

Couples who share a domestic partnership and not a marriage are entitled to most of the same benefits. But, the legal trouble is much more for the domestic partners than they are for married people. And that is why it is essential to know the inherent differences between these two phenomena.

Who Is A Domestic Partner, and What Is A Domestic Partnership?

What is a Domestic Partner, and What is a Domestic Partnership?

An unmarried person who shares the same address as another individual and shares a romantic and intimate relationship is a domestic partner. The person classified as a domestic partner is not married. Because if they had been married, they would have been termed as a husband or wife. Hence, domestic partnership is an alternative for marriage mainly attributed to homosexual couples.

Now, the millennial term of domestic partnership is live in or live together, which you may be more familiar with. People who live together and claim each other as each other’s boyfriend or girlfriend don’t necessarily fall into the criteria of domestic partnership. Because to make it legal, the two partners have to sign a declaration of domestic partnership. That document makes them entitled to many of the same privileges as married couples.

What Is An Example Of A Marriage?

Domestic Partnership vs. Mariage

A marriage is a legal and social union between two individuals, typically recognized by the state, religious institutions, or both. It signifies a commitment to shared life goals and mutual support and often includes various rights and responsibilities. One classic example of a marriage is a traditional wedding ceremony between a bride and groom.

In this scenario, a couple publicly declares their intention to spend their lives together in a ceremony that may involve religious rituals, cultural traditions, or civil formalities. The exchange of vows and rings symbolizes the commitment to love, honor, and cherish one another through all circumstances. The marriage is legally formalized, often with a marriage certificate issued by the relevant authorities.

Additionally, marriage involves the creation of a shared household, where spouses build a life together. They navigate various aspects of life, such as financial management, raising children, and supporting each other’s personal and professional pursuits. Marriage is not only a legal contract but also a social institution that carries emotional, cultural, and societal significance, influencing the lives of the individuals involved and the community around them.

Domestic Partnership Vs. Marriage- How To Establish It?

Marriage vs. Domestic Partnership- How to establish it?

In both domestic partnership and marriage, the partners have to live together, and both become responsible for one another’s living expenses. Neither of them can be married or have a domestic relationship with others. The two individuals must not have any blood ties that could prevent them from being married or sharing a domestic relationship. In both domestic partnership and marriage, they have to be adults, significantly above 18.

Both the partners will sign a document of domestic partnership and will submit it to the city clerk. After filing the petition, the partners will receive a filing document. In addition, a witness must notarize the declaration document.

In the case of marriage, two people only have to marry one another in the presence of a priest. However, they also need to follow the traditional marriage ritual of their religion. In addition, they have to have a registered marriage certificate. The certificate must have at least the signatures of two witnesses from both sides of the groom and the bride.

Domestic Partnership Vs. Marriage – How To End It?

Domestic Partnership vs. Marriage- How to end it?

If one of the partners sends a notice to another partner to end the partnership, or if one of them dies, then a domestic partnership ends. If the partnership ends for any other reason except death, one has to file a notice to the city clerk. And, and the other partner should also receive the document to sign.

They must file the notice within 60 days of their decision to end the partnership. If one of the partners suffers any financial or physical loss for not submitting the notice on time, he can sue the partner. However, filing for the notice is unnecessary for ending a domestic partnership as it is not a marriage. So, it will not delay the partnership’s end if both the partners have mutual consent in terminating it.

Now, the process for ending a marriage cannot be done without legal notice. Couples who don’t want to be married anymore can file for a divorce in court. They can also opt for mutual separation. It is a legal process where the marriage indeed ends, but that does not qualify the partners to be single again. They cannot enter a new relationship even if they are legally separated.

An annulment can also end a marriage, but very few cases can pass the annulment criteria. However, if the wedding is considered legally void from the beginning, like an incestuous marriage or a bigamous marriage, it can end with an annulment. 


Thus, you can see that in domestic partnership vs. marriage, most of the benefits lie with people who are married to one another instead of the domestic partners. Even the legality of domestic partnership is not accepted worldwide, which can be a severe hurdle for people who share this kind of relationship.

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Mashum Mollah
Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is the feature writer of Search Engine Magazine and an SEO Analyst at iDream Agency. Over the last 3 years, He has successfully developed and implemented online marketing, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 50+ businesses of all sizes. He is the co-founder of Social Media Magazine.


8 Replies to “Domestic Partnership Vs. Marriage – What Is The Difference?”

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