Sacramento – California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that expands the state’s domestic partnership definition to include heterosexual couples who are in committed relationship but chose not to get married.
Although state law has allowed couples to register as domestic partners for nearly twenty years, as written it only applied to gay/lesbian couples who at the time, were prohibited from getting married. For tax purposes domestic partners in California are treated the same as married couples including as it relates to community property incomes, etc.
It is also important to note that those who register as domestic partners are subjected to other requirements that apply to married spouses including the need to process paperwork to legally dissolve the relationship. In many circumstances, domestic partnerships can only be dissolved by initiating a dissolution proceeding in Superior Court.