Everyone in New Jersey knows about marriage, but fewer people are knowledgeable about domestic partnerships. The primary feature of a domestic partnership is that both people share responsibility for each other’s welfare. However, there are other eligibility requirements to register a domestic partnership. The legal details are very specific.
Who can register a domestic partnership?
Only couples age 62 or older may register a domestic partnership. That applies both to opposite-sex partners and same-sex partners. Though same-sex couples who were 18 or older used to be able to register as domestic partners, that’s no longer the case. Now, marriage is the only comparable option for younger people.
Before you consider a domestic partnership, you should assess whether you meet all of the following requirements:
- You and your partner must live in the same home.
- At least one of you must be part of a New Jersey State-administered retirement system.
- You must have proof of shared responsibility for each other, such as joint finances or joint property ownership.
- You must agree to be responsible for each other’s essential living expenses.
- Neither of you can be in another current marriage or domestic partnership.
- You can’t be closely related family.
- You can’t initiate a domestic partnership within 180 days of choosing to end another domestic partnership.
To register a domestic partnership, you and your partner will need to provide valid IDs. You’ll also need to provide proof of residence and proof of shared financial responsibility. Additionally, you’ll need to pay a $28 fee.
Domestic partnerships aren’t as well-known as marriage, but they’re right for some people. Before you choose to enter into one, make sure to find out exactly what it will and won’t entail.