Houston Domestic Partnerships Attorney
When two people are in a relationship long-term, their partnership can provide them with a certain degree of protection in the eyes of the law when documented properly. If you are in a domestic partnership, it is crucial that you understand the importance of domestic partnership documents in the state of Texas and how it may relate to your rights in regards to your partner in the future. To get help understanding the domestic partnership documentation process and other legal needs relating to your domestic partnership, contact a Houston attorney as soon as possible.
At Stepp & Sullivan, our Houston domestic partnerships lawyers have more than 70 years of combined experience helping our clients protect themselves and their partners in domestic partnerships. Unfortunately, many couples fail to recognize the importance of domestic partnership documents before it is too late. Our team of Houston lawyers have the skills and dedication to help you and your partner understand your rights when establishing a domestic partnership in Texas. When you partner with us, we hope to provide you with the trusted legal representation you deserve.
Why Is It Important to Have Domestic Partnership Documentation in Texas?
It has become increasingly more popular for couples to choose to forgo the tradition of marriage. While marriage may just seem like a piece of paper and does not have any bearing on the type of love you and your partner share, it is crucial that there is still official documentation to legitimize your domestic partnership in the eyes of the law.
Domestic partnership documentation is important for many reasons in regards to a person’s legal rights as it relates to their partner. Some reasons that you should seek the help of one of our Houston domestic partnerships lawyers to complete your domestic partnership documentation in Texas are as follows:
Emergency Medical Situations
When a domestic partner in a relationship becomes sick or injured, they may be unable to make medical decisions for themselves. While most heterosexual couples would automatically transfer the power of decision making to their spouse in this scenario, domestic partners must have legal documentation granting them this right.
A Partner’s Passing
When a person passes, there are certain assets or benefits that may go to their spouse or domestic partner if the proper documentation existed before the individual’s death.
Certain employees like teachers or government workers are able to pass on certain benefits like insurance to their spouses or domestic partners that they receive from their employers.
To better understand the full scope of rights you may be losing out on if you do not establish a legal domestic partnership with your loved one, speak with one of our Houston domestic partnership lawyers.
What Are the Steps for Filing a Domestic Partnership Agreement in Texas?
A domestic partnership agreement is a document that details the legal rights and responsibilities between two people of any gender in a long-term relationship. These documents are used for a variety of purposes and are essential to ensuring your rights as it relates to your relationship.
The process of filing a domestic partnership can be harrowing for some people, but our team of Houston domestic partnership attorneys may be able to help. The steps to filing a domestic partnership agreement are as follows:
- Make an appointment with the county clerk’s office in Houston
- Bring proof of identity and age. Acceptable identification can include:
- Official copy of the applicant’s birth certificate
- Driver’s license or state-issued identification card
- Approved document issued by Texas or another state, the United States, or a foreign government such as a passport, visa, or military identification
- At the clerk’s office, you and your partner can complete and submit the sample Declaration of Domestic Partnership provided by the office or provide one of your own
- Pay the fee for filing a declaration which is $26 for the first page and $4 for every additional page
To get help with the process of filing a domestic partnership agreement in Houston, Texas, and throughout the United States, speak with one of our trusted attorneys today.
How Does a Domestic Partnership Affect Child Custody in Texas?
In the state of Texas, a domestic partnership does not guarantee that you will have legal or physical custody of your child in the event that you and your partner split. It is important to understand that a domestic partnership agreement does not establish paternity, custody, or child support for any children shared by a domestic partnership couple.
If you had your child before entering the domestic partnership, custody will legally fall to you. This is also true for children that a couple adopted together. The only way to ensure that both partners are considered to be legal parents is for the other partner to adopt the child.
You may need the legal help of one of our Houston attorneys if your domestic partnership is ending and neither your or your partner is a legal guardian of the child. If one of the parents in a domestic partnership did not legally adopt the child but wishes to retain custody after the relationship ends, they will need an expert to testify on their behalf. That expert will advise the courts on what is in the best interests of the child. The legal team at Stepp & Sullivan can provide you with the trusted representation needed to help you as you seek legal custody of your child after a domestic partnership has ended.
Get Help From a Houston Domestic Partnerships Lawyer
The skilled attorneys at Stepp & Sullivan are dedicated to helping clients understand the importance of domestic partnerships in Houston. We have several decades of experience helping Houston residents navigate the domestic partnership filing process and all legal matters relating to their agreement. To discuss your next steps with a dedicated and trusted Houston domestic partnership lawyer, call us today at (713) 336-7200 or complete our contact form.