In some circumstances, you may terminate a registered domestic partnership by filing a Notice to Terminate Domestic Partnership with the California Secretary of State. This method is easier than terminating a domestic partnership with the Superior Court, but not everyone can utilize it.
You can terminate your domestic partnership this way only if ALL of the requirements listed below are true at the time you file the form. Even if only one of the statements is not true, you cannot terminate the domestic partnership with the California Secretary of State and you must file a petition with the Superior Court in order to terminate the domestic partnership
Requirements to terminate through Secretary of State
- You have both read and understand the Secretary of State brochure regarding terminating domestic partnership.
- You both want to terminate the domestic partnership.
- You have not been registered as domestic partners longer than five years.
- No children were born to you before or during your domestic partnership.
- You did not adopt any children during the domestic partnership.
- Neither of you is now pregnant.
- Neither of you own any part of land or buildings.
- Neither of you is renting any land or buildings (except where one or both of you live, and that lease does not include a purchase option that will end within one year of filing the Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership form).
- Not counting automobiles, your community property is not worth more than $40,000.
- Not counting automobiles, neither of you own separate property worth more than $40,000 (exclusive of automobile values).
- Not counting automobile loans, your community obligations are less than $6,000.
- You are both willing to sign an agreement which states how you want your possessions and debts to be divided or that you have no community property or community debts.
- You both agree that neither wants money or support from the other partner except what is included in the property settlement agreement dividing the community property and obligations.
If these statements are all true, you may terminate the domestic partnership by filing a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership with the California.
Terminate Domestic Partnership Through Court
If you do not meet all the requirements for terminating your domestic partnership through the California Secretary of State or if you simply choose not to use that procedure, you must file a petition with the Superior Court in order to terminate it. This is the same process used to terminate a marriage (a divorce or annulment) or to legally separate. There are three different petitions that you can file with the court, and each has a different effect.
- Petition for dissolution of domestic partnership (divorce)
- Petition for annulment of domestic partnership (annulment) or
- Petition for judgment of legal separation of domestic partnership (legal separation)
All three of these proceedings essentially follow the same process as terminating a marriage in California. Refer to the appropriate section of our web site for further information.