My company made my partner and I fill out a form for a domestic partnership. Do we need to file a declaration of domestic partnership with the county?
There is never a legal requirement to file the Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the county where you reside. However, you may wish to go ahead and complete the domestic partnership form. I think of the Declaration of Domestic Partnership as a way for couples to proclaim that they are a couple and as baby steps into something that may lead to a more legally binding situation. The county will provide a nice Certificate of Domestic Partnership and a wallet card demonstrating that you are in this relationship. I have had experience with couples using this in a hospital setting to gain admittance, even if they did not have their Healthcare Surrogate documents in their possession. (this is anecdotal, and your experience may be different).
Most likely, the private domestic partnership form you completed with your employer was so that you could add your domestic partner to your Health insurance coverage as part of your employee benefits. Otherwise, there may not be a particular reason for that form.
The declaration of domestic partnership that you would file with the county where you reside is a public record. Your employer may also use it to demonstrate your domestic partnership for healthcare coverage in place of that private form, but the County Form may also offer additional benefits based upon where you live. Please note that each county has a different Declaration of Domestic Partnership form, and they are not all the same.
In Broward, the declaration of domestic partnership merely states that you agree to share food and shelter during your domestic partnership and that you reside at the same location. However, with the Broward form, you may also make additional childcare elections and become a legally authorized representative for funeral arrangements. You should read the forms carefully to ensure they comply with your wishes. If so, there's no harm in having the public record available. However, if you prefer your relationship to be more private, you should not file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with the county.
Ask a Question
If you have a general question that you would like answered by a Florida Estate Planning and Administration Attorney, please use the contact form to send Shawn a question. As long as it is general (and not too specific to your unique situation), Shawn will answer these questions in the form of a Frequently Asked Question to help you but also help others in our community.
Shawn can not offer legal advice in this format. He can only provide general information that you may find helpful. You should call an attorney and seek legal advice if you need specific legal advice.
Give us a call. We can help.
Law Office of Shawn C. Newman, P.A.
710 Northeast 26th Street
Wilton Manors, FL 33305-1238
Phone: (954) 563-9160
Serving all of the greater Fort Lauderdale area and Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in Southern Florida.