Domestic Partnership Registration Ending in Wisconsin

As of April 1, 2018, Wisconsin will no longer offer new applicant Domestic Partnership status in Wisconsin. The Domestic Partnership registry provides some important protections to unmarried

same-sex and opposite-sex couples. When this status was made available almost a decade ago, marriage was not a legal right for all persons. Now, marriage is a legal right in Wisconsin for all persons.

Some of these important protections that domestic partnership status includes are: family medical leave for a sick or dying partner, the ability to obtain health insurance for a partner, hospital visitation rights, application of spousal privilege so a domestic partner cannot be compelled to testify against his or her partner, the right to inherit if a partner dies without a will and the transfer of real estate between partners without taxes.

While this status does not provide the full legal protections that legally married couples are entitled to, it also does not require the same obligations. For example, in the event that a domestic partnership does not work out, there is no official “divorce” process and there is no requirement to share debts, support your partner, etc. This is part of the appeal to obtaining this type of status.

Importantly, couples who have already obtained domestic partnership status in Wisconsin or successfully do so prior to April 1, 2018, will still maintain the rights and benefits associated with this status after the April 1st deadline. If couples are not likely to get married this year, registering for this status before the April 1st deadline may be worth considering.

Should you have any family law related questions, please feel free to contact our office at 414-258-1644 to schedule a free ½ hour consultation with one of our attorneys.

2 thoughts on “Domestic Partnership Registration Ending in Wisconsin

  1. Good Morning,

    I am hoping to get some direction and advice on if there is anything I can register and obtain regarding my domestic partnership. I have been in a relationship with my partner for a few years, he is a spanish citizen but has permanent residency in Wisconsin for his employment (professor who is teaching online until January). His 90 year old father has fallen quite ill after battling cancer for many years and is in need of more assistance than what the spanish government offers. My partner is in Spain trying to handle on his own and as we thought it is almost impossible to manage 24/7. I have done this with 3 of my family members over the last 10+ years and offered to do the same for him. In June my flight was canceled, I rebooked for July only to have the borders closed. We have been in discussions with the Spanish Consulate for the last month providing them all of the documentation they have requested with the exception of domestic partnership, as it is not recognized in our state. Is there anything you could recommend or anything I can file with the state to show proof?

    I appreciate any assistance you can provide me.

    Thank you,

We welcome your comments or questions. We will do our best to try to respond. However, please be advised that we cannot give legal advice in this forum and all communications are for general informational purposes only. Communication should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. This is an open forum and any information you provide may be posted and will not be held confidentially. By posting a comment or question, you are expressly giving consent for the publication of same. If you have any specific legal issues or concerns, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney in the county and state in which you reside.

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