Domestic Partnerships
At Shea Moskovitz McGhee, we negotiate and draft contracts for entering into domestic partnerships and dissolving domestic partnerships.

 

What are domestic partnerships?   Domestic partnerships are contracts that set out the rights of partners in a relationship including but not limited to gays, lesbians, or other partners living together in a domestic household.  Partners may wish to negotiate the terms of their living arrangements, parenting decisions and financial matters.

What contracts can be negotiated for domestic partnerships or other non-marital relationships? 

  • Domestic Partnership Agreement.
  • Termination or Dissolution Agreement.
  • Permanent Parenting Plan.
  • Orders regarding child support.

 

Do prenuptial agreements apply to domestic partnerships?   Domestic partners can reduce their intentions to writing in a contract or a domestic partnership agreement.  The terms of the domestic partnership agreement would be similar to a prenuptial agreement in that the parties set out their intentions for managing finances, assets and debts during their partnership.  The parties agree to the terms of dissolution in the event a partner, or both partners, wish to end the partnership. 

 

How are domestic partnerships ended?  Domestic partnerships can be terminated through court action, mediation, or collaborative negotiation between counsel.  Like a divorce, parties have the option to choose to file a petition to dissolve domestic partnerships in the Chancery Court.  Alternatively, parties can agree to hire collaborative attorneys to help negotiate the terms of dissolution for domestic partnerships.  Finally, mediation can be available to parties, even after they have filed an action with the Chancery Court to terminate a domestic partnership.  Counsel at Shea Moskovitz McGhee can handle any and all approaches to dissolving domestic partnerships.

 

Is a “common law marriage” like a domestic partnership?   Yes.  Tennessee law does not recognize “common law marriage”.  Therefore, an action for divorce cannot be filed to terminate a “common law marriage”.  However, domestic partnership dissolution procedures stated above can be used to resolve parenting issues, financial support issues, and dividing joint assets and liabilities.