State registered domestic partners are treated the same as married spouses under State law to the extent such application of state law does not conflict with federal law. The State first created rights for certain unmarried couples in 2007, those rights were expanded in 2008 and again in 2009 in legislation dubbed “the everything but marriage act.” Domestic partnerships are currently available to same sex couples and couples where one person is at least 62 years of age. In June of 2014 domestic partnerships will be limited to couples where one person has reached the age of 62. The state offers the option of forming domestic partnerships to such couples because some social security and pension laws make it complicated for these couples to marry.
Domestic partnerships are created by filing a notarized Declaration of Registered State Domestic Partnership with the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State. A domestic partnership is dissolved in the same manner as a marriage is dissolved, by filing a petition in the Superior Court. When dissolving a domestic partnership the Superior Court is authorized to make just and equitable division of all property and debts of the domestic partners, just as it would in dissolving a marriage.