Domestic Partnership Rights in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, domestic partnerships are open to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples in Boston, Cambridge, Brewster, Nantucket, and Provincetown, while Brookline limits registration to same-sex couples.
An official domestic partnership allows you, your partner, and any dependents of your partner similar rights as a spouse and dependents of a spouse, including hospital and correctional facility visitation rights, access to a dependent’s school records, and the right to remove the dependent from school for emergencies. If you are a city employee in the area you registered with, you have the right to certain benefits such as sick leave, parental leave, and bereavement leave that would apply to a spouse. Property, custody, and inheritance rights may not be protected by a domestic partnership.
Each state has different laws and regulations regarding domestic partnerships, marriages, and civil unions. Massachusetts recognizes same-sex marriages but the federal government and many other states do not, so a domestic partnership may be a good option for you if you want your rights to be protected elsewhere. The very best way to codify your rights is to use a written domestic partnership agreement and other important estate planning tools with the help of a qualified attorney.
Contact us today if you have questions about whether you qualify or the rights you are entitled to under a Massachusetts domestic partnership.