Things To Know About Domestic Partnership Washington State And Tips To Solve A Domestic Dispute

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Domestic partnership Washington State is a committed relationship between two people who live together but are not married. Most states recognize this relationship, and the couple can apply to register their relationship and receive some government benefits. 

Domestic partnership couples share residence, finances and can even raise children together as unmarried parents. The domestic partnership has initially been available to same-sex couples who were barred from getting married, but now it extends to all types of teams. 

There are no federally mandated guidelines of what a domestic partnership is. However, each state defines these relationships differently. 


How Do You Register As Domestic Partners?

Couples can formalize their domestic partnership through registering with their employer, local government, or state they reside in. Both applicants must be at least 18 years of age, unmarried, and competent to enter into a contract. They must also not be in another domestic partnership relationship and have a committed relationship for at least six months. 

It is a list of documents that will be useful in applying for a domestic partnership relationship:

  • Proper identification have, i.e., Driver’s License or Passport (other documents can also be considered appropriate identification- check your state’s requirements)
  • A current lease, mortgage, or rental agreement naming both applicants as occupants of the residence


What Are The Benefits Of A Domestic Partnership?

Although, the couple cannot enjoy the same benefits as married couples. States do allow for some service,s which can include:

  • Health, dental and vision insurance
  • Death benefits and inheritance rights
  • Visitation rights in jails and hospitals
  • The authority to make medical and financial decisions for a partner
  • Accident and life insurance
  • Housing rights
  • Parental leave and adoption rights

Some employers will still offer these benefits even if the state does not recognize the domestic partnership relationship. 


How Is A Domestic Partnership Terminated?

Either party or both parties can apply for a termination of the domestic partnership relationship. After filing, there is a six-month waiting period before the domestic partnership terminates. During this time, there is still a continuation of benefits for both partners. 

The partner who applied for the termination can withdraw it if it still meets the requirements of the domestic partnership. However, once the six-month period expires, the couple will need to reapply for a new domestic partnership after the termination of the previous one. 

Automatic termination of the domestic partnership can occur for any of the following reasons:

  • Death of one of the partners
  • Both partners marry each other
  • One partner marries someone else or
  • One partner abandons the relationship or the mutual residence

There’s more you must know about domestic partnerships in Washington State. Click here


Tips To Deal With A Domestic Dispute

Below are some steps you can take to help stop domestic violence in your community.

Know The Signs

The domestic dispute can happen to anyone—white, black, young, old, rich, poor, educated, not educated. Sometimes violence begins early on in a relationship and other times it takes months or even years to appear. But there generally are some warning signs. 

Be wary of the following red flags an abuser may exhibit at any point in a relationship:

  • Being jealous of your friends or time spent away from your partner
  • Discouraging you from spending time away from your partner
  • Embarrassing or shaming you
  • Controlling all financial decisions
  • Making you feel guilty for all the problems in the relationship
  • Preventing you from working
  • Intentionally damaging your property
  • Threatening violence against you, your pets, or someone you love to gain compliance
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to
  • Intimidating you physically, especially with weapons

Don’t Ignore It

Police officers hear the same thing from witnesses again and again—I heard/saw/perceived domestic violence but didn’t want to get involved. If you hear your neighbors engaged in a violent situation, call the police. It could save a life.

Lend An Ear

If someone ever confides in you they are experiencing domestic violence, listen without judgment. Give them the benefit of the doubt they are telling you and ask how you can help. 

Be Available

If someone you know is thinking about leaving or fearing domestic partnerships, the violence will escalate, be ready to help. Keep your phone with you and the ringer on, make sure you have gas in your car, and discuss an escape plan or meeting place ahead of time.

Partnership same-sex, a domestic dispute? Click here


If you are planning to or are currently in a domestic partnership in Washington State and want to receive government benefits, you can apply to register your relationship. However, it depends on the state you reside in and what your situation is. 

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