A domestic partnership agreement is a document that explains the contractual legal rights and responsibilities of each partner when a couple decides to form a long-term committed relationship. For example, in your domestic partnership agreement, you and your partner can determine:
- Whether a particular piece of real or personal property is owned jointly or belongs solely to one partner and how one or both parties took title to that property;
- Whether a gift or inheritance made to one partner is held jointly or individually
- Who is responsible for household duties and chores;
- How to share your income.
In the event of potential disputes or misunderstandings, a domestic partnership agreement can help clarify ownership of property, provide guidance for dividing property in the event of a separation and specify a dispute resolution mechanism such as arbitration. Because some states do not recognize the validity of domestic partnership agreements, it is recommended that you consult an attorney in your area.