The ‘big day’ is about a month away. On June 30, 2014, most same-sex registered domestic partners in Washington State will automatically become married under Washington State law. (If one partner is over the age of 62, your relationship will not automatically convert). By July 1st, Washington State will officially be a ‘one status’ state.
If you are in a typical same-sex registered domestic partnership, you will wake up on July 1st to find yourself married. Your domestic partnership will be extinguished.
So, what are your options?
- If you and your honey want to stay together, you may want to pick a more personal date to celebrate your nuptials. If you want to take control of the anniversary date of your nuptials, act fast. Get married before June 30, 2014 and send in your marriage certificate to the Secretary of State before the 30th, particularly if you get married in a different state. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your wills, power of attorneys, and health care directive are updated.
- If you and your sweetie are the kind of couple who go with the flow, just sit back and let all of us in Washington State celebrate your anniversary with you every year on June 30th.
- Now, if you are registered to be a domestic partner with someone who is no longer your sweetie, well, unfortunately, you can’t end your legal connection to the other person before June 30th. Your domestic partnership will be dissolved on June 30th and the legal status of your relationship will change to marriage.
But you can still dissolve your marriage this year. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to schedule a family law legal consulataton and to get your estate planning papers in order. Otherwise, your new spouse is going to have a lot of decision-making authority over your end-of-life decisions and also have inheritance rights in the event of your death.
If you’d like to speak with one of the attorneys at DuBois Cary regarding your choices around this issue, please call us and schedule a consultation. We are here to help. Our Seattle office number is (206) 547-1486 and our Bellevue office number is (425) 279-7863