Right of domestic partners to use stepparent adoption procedures. Registered domestic partners can use the same adoption procedures used by stepparents. These procedures enable one partner to adopt the other partner's child or children, so that both partners have a legally protected relationship to the couple's child or children.
Custody & Visitation Of Children Of Domestic Partners. After January 1, 2005, if parents are registered domestic partners when a child is born, the law assumes that the domestic partners are parents. However, since this law is new and unsettled, same sex parents should get legal advice to make sure that the parentage is clear.
Right to make medical decisions for your domestic partner. A registered domestic partner has the same right as a spouse to make medical decisions for his or her partner if the partner becomes mentally or physically incapacitated.
Hospital visitation rights of domestic partners. Registered domestic partners have the right to visit one another in the hospital.
Right to file for state disability benefits on behalf of a disabled domestic partner. A registered domestic partner can file claims for state disability benefits on behalf of a partner who is eligible for benefits but too incapacitated to file a claim for them.
Right to be appointed conservator and to make legal & financial decisions for an incapacitated domestic partner. If a registered domestic partner becomes incapacitated and needs a court-appointed conservator to handle her finances and other personal matters, then her partner is given the same priority in being named the conservator as a spouse. The partner also has the right to object to the appointment of a conservator.
Right to inherit if a domestic partner dies without a will. A surviving registered domestic partner will have the same priority as a surviving spouse to inherit a specified share of a partner's separate property if the partner dies without a will. A surviving registered domestic partner will not, however, have the same rights as a surviving spouse to community property. This law will go into effect on July 1, 2003.
Right to sue for wrongful death and infliction of emotional distress of a domestic partner: When a partner is killed or injured. If a registered domestic partner is killed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, her partner can bring a wrongful death suit to recover for lost financial support and companionship. A registered domestic partner can bring a suit for the infliction of emotional distress if she witnesses her domestic partner being physically harmed by another person.
Ability to use form wills and right to automatic appointment as administrator of a domestic partner's estate. California has amended the official forms for making simple wills to allow registered domestic partners to check a box leaving their estates to their partners. A registered domestic partner also has the same priority as a spouse in being appointed to be the administrator of a partner's estate after his or her death.
Right to draft a will or trust for a domestic partner. Registered domestic partners are included in the exceptions to the law that prohibits making a transfer through a will or trust to the person who drafted the will or trust.
Right to paid leave to care for seriously ill domestic partner or a domestic partner's child. A new family temporary disability insurance program will provide up to 6 weeks of wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off work to care for a seriously will child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a new child.
Domestic partner's unemployment insurance. If a registered domestic partner must quit her job and relocate to accommodate her or his partner's job, she or he will be eligible to collect California unemployment benefits on the same basis as a spouse who relocates under the same circumstances.
Right to use sick leave to care for a domestic partner or a domestic partner's child. If an employer has a policy permitting employees to use sick leave to care for spouses and children, the employer is required to provide equal treatment to domestic partners by permitting a registered domestic partner to use sick leave to care for his or her partner or partner's child.
Domestic partner health insurance. The new law does NOT require employers to offer domestic partner benefits. However, it does require insurance companies that provide employers with coverage of employees' spouses to offer health insurance coverage for employees' domestic partners and their children on the same terms. The law also continues to permit government employees to obtain health insurance benefits for their registered domestic partners, a provision which has been in place since January, 2000, when the statewide domestic partnership law first went into effect.
Right to continued health insurance coverage for domestic partners and children of deceased state employees and retirees. If a state employee or retiree dies, his or her domestic partner and the children of the domestic partner will be eligible for continued health insurance coverage if the surviving domestic partner has been enrolled in the state health insurance plan.
Right to death benefits and survivor's allowances for surviving domestic partners of county employees in selected counties. The counties of Los Angeles, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Barbara have the authority to provide death benefits and survivor allowances to surviving domestic partners of county employees. With the exception of San Francisco, the county board of supervisors in each of these respective counties must pass an authorizing resolution before these benefits will be available.
Right to live with your domestic partner in senior citizen housing developments. Registered domestic partners are included in the definition of persons who are qualified to secure housing in specially designed accessible housing for senior citizens.
Employer provided health insurance benefits for registered domestic partners will no longer be taxed as income by the State of California. They will continue to be taxed as income, however, by the federal government.