If you and your same-sex partner wish to make your relationship legally binding in Florida, one of the ways you can do this is by establishing a domestic partnership. As the City of Sarasota explains, a domestic partnership consists of two adults who have met the criteria and who have filed an affidavit of domestic partnership registration.
Domestic partnership criteria vary from place to place, but in general consist of the following:
- You and your partner must be at least 18 years old and not related to each other by blood.
- Neither of you must be currently married to someone else or a partner in another domestic partnership.
- Each of you must consider yourself a member of the other’s immediate family.
- The two of you must reside in a mutual residence.
- Each of you must agree to immediately notify the proper Florida authority if one or both of you decide to terminate the domestic partnership.
- Each of you must declare your intent and desire to designate the other as your health care surrogate and your agent with regard to your funeral and burial.
In addition to the above, you both must appear in person to fill out the domestic partnership paperwork, bringing along some sort of photo identification.
Domestic partnership benefits
You and your duly registered domestic partner will receive many benefits, including the following:
- You will have visitation rights if your partner becomes hospitalized.
- You can participate in your partner’s health care, funeral and burial decisions.
- Should your partner become incarcerated, you will have correctional facility visitation rights.
- You will qualify as a family member in any situation requiring or permitting family member notification.
- Should you and/or your partner have children, you will have the right to participate in those children’s education.
- Should your partner require a pre-need guardian, you have the right to be designated as such.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.