Does Oregon Recognize Domestic Partnerships?
Yes, Oregon recognizes domestic partnerships. The state recognizes two types of domestic partnerships – unregistered domestic partnerships and registered domestic partnerships. State law defines a domestic partnership as a civil contract between two people of the same sex. They must be at least eighteen years old and capable. At least one of the individuals must be a resident of Oregon. Individuals joined in a domestic partnership are called partners.
Domestic partnerships were established as a means for same-sex couples to be legally bound to each other in a similar fashion to opposite-sex married couples. In 2008, Oregon enacted the Oregon Family Fairness Act, which recognized domestic partnership, although the state constitution did not allow same-sex marriages.
Like marriage, domestic partnerships can be prohibited or void under the following circumstances:
1. The domestic partner has a partner or spouse other than the other party to the domestic partnership.
2. The parties to the domestic partnership are first cousins (except by adoption) or closer to each other by blood or adoption.
3. Either party has the legal capacity to contract or make a civil contract.
4. Either party's consent is by force or fraud.
Unregistered domestic partnerships are partners who meet all of the elements of domestic partnerships in Oregon but do not register the partnership with the state. Unregistered domestic partnerships may be a same-sex or opposite-sex couple that lives like married couples by sharing property, assets, income and debts. Because Oregon does not recognize common-law marriage, an unregistered domestic partnership is the only option for an opposite-sex couple, except for a legal marriage.
Registered domestic partnerships in Oregon are only for same-sex couples. To register a domestic partnership, the couple must prepare the Declaration of Domestic Partnership form and the Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership form and pay the registration fee.