What Legalities Does Registering a Domestic Partnership in Tucson Involve?

The City of Tucson passed the first Tucson domestic partnerships registry law in the State of Arizona. Since then, various Arizona cities have passed laws for domestic partnership registration.

The city enacted the Tucson Domestic Partnership (DP) ordinance in 2003. It allows "unmarried couples who share a relationship of mutual support, caring and commitment" to register as a domestic partnership. Requirements for registration include:

  • No blood relationship that would bar an Arizona marriage
  • No pre-existing marriage, domestic partnership or civil union with another person
  • Being 18 years of age
  • Being legally competent to enter into a contract
  • Declaration that both partners are the other's sole partner in the domestic partnership
  • Sharing a primary residence, in a mutually supportive relationship and committed to remaining in the relationship for an indefinite future

Tucson does not require couples to reside within the city limits and the ordinance applies to parties in same-sex or heterosexual relationships. In fact, there are two main demographics interested in forming domestic partnerships ― same-sex couples and the elderly. Each demographic has different reasons for domestic partnerships despite the fact that both seek legal and financial protection. Same-sex couples generally want to attain the legal rights that married couples enjoy. In contrast, the elderly often wish to keep assets and income separate and maintain a degree of independence. Arizona civil unions may be another option in the near future. A civil unions bill proposed by State Senator Ed Ableser seeks to give same-sex couples the same rights enjoyed by married couples.

The Benavidez Law Group, P.C. can help you deal with domestic partnership issues and put estate planning in place that defines and protects your rights.