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Domestic Partnership


  At Shepard Law Offices, we are knowledgeable about Oregon domestic partnership law and prepared to discuss your rights and options with you.

  There are two ways to form a domestic partnership in Oregon. A “common law” domestic partnership can be formed by either a heterosexual, or same-sex couple. The partners may or may not have a formal, written, partnership agreement. If the relationship ends, one partner can sue the other to obtain an equitable division of the assets accumulated during the relationship.

  Same-sex couples are also eligible to register for a domestic partnership under Oregon State Law. To register, the partners must file a “Declaration of Domestic Partnership” with the county clerk that is signed and notarized by both parties and must also pay a filing fee. Unlike a common law domestic partnership, a registered domestic partnership must be formally dissolved through the court system, in the same way that a marriage must be dissolved.

  There are six eligibility requirements for each of the partners who wish to register a domestic partnership. Each of the partners must:


  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Not be married or in a domestic partnership
  3. Be capable of consenting to the partnership
  4. Not be nearer of kin than second cousins
  5. Be of the same sex
  6. At least one partner must be an Oregon resident


  Once registered, the parties to the registered domestic partnership are entitled to the same privileges, rights, and responsibilities that the state of Oregon provides or imposes as parties to a marriage. These rights and responsibilities include:

  • The right to inherit the net estate if your partner dies without a will
  • Availability of spousal support after dissolution
  • Property division rights
  • The automatic right of survivorship for jointly owned real property
  • Health care and medical emergency rights
  • The ability to claim wrongful death benefits or crime victim survivor benefits if a partner is killed.
  • Ability to file joint Oregon tax returns

Call Us Today to Learn More


  For more information, or to discuss your specific case, contact us today for knowledgeable, understanding legal representation.