California Domestic Partnership Law-CA Civil Unions


Requirements for establishing a Domestic Partnership in California

Both persons file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the Secretary of State.
Both persons share a common residence.
Neither person is married to someone else or is a member of another domestic partnership.
The 2 persons are not related by blood in a way that would prevent them from being married to each other in this state.
Both persons are at least 18 years old.
Either of the following-
A) Both persons are members of the same sex
B) One or both of the persons meet certain eligibility criteria under the Social Security Act and one or both are over the age of 62.
Both persons have the capacity to consent to the domestic partnership.

Rights of Domestic Partners

Registered domestic partners in California shall have the same rights, protections and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law whether they derive from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law or any other provisions or source of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.

Income Tax Returns

When filing their state income tax returns domestic partners in California should use the same filing status as is used on their federal income tax returns. Earned income may not be treated as community property for state income tax purposes.


The statutes do not specify a manner of holding title for domestic partners in California. Vestings that mirror vestings for husband and wife will be accepted.

John Jones and Dave Smith, domestic partners as joint tenants
Martha Bell and Mary Smith, domestic partners, as community property.

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