A domestic partner is a legal relationship involving two people who share a domestic existence and share a life together but are not legally married. Unlike the civil unions and domestic relationships which are legalized in the United States, persons in domestic partnerships do not have the same rights as those in civil unions or domestic partnerships. People in domestic partnerships also do not have the same rights to inheritance or children. People in domestic partnerships also do not have the same rights to hospital visitation, child support, and other benefits available to people who are married.
The courts recognize a domestic relationship when one or both partners are involved in an emotional, physical, sexual, or financial relationship with another person. When there is abuse, invasion of privacy, or when one partner uses physical force against the other, the relationship is considered domestic violence. For these reasons, a PPO can be issued to one partner who is in danger of abuse and may stop spousal and child abuse lawsuits from occurring.
In order to obtain a PPO, the victim in a domestic relationship must file a petition with the court. The petition asks that a protection order or PPO be granted against the abuser. The judge will listen to the victim’s story and make a decision about granting the PPO. If the judge decides to grant the PPO, he or she will issue an ex parte order that allows the victim to get legal representation.
An ex parte order protects the victim and stops the abuser from coming back to the scene of the crime. The PPO often has a very high cost attached to it, since a lawyer will have to take time away from work to attend the hearing and will have to prepare the case for trial. The PPO is meant to be a safety net for financially vulnerable individuals, not as a means to earn back alimony or child support payments.
The first step toward getting a PPO is to file a domestic violence petition against the abuser. An abuse or sexual assault attorney can help victims find the right resources to get a PPO and can also represent them in the court proceedings. Most victims are afraid to go to the police about their abusive situation for fear of retribution from the abuser or the response of their abuser to the police. Hiring an experienced domestic violence or abuse attorney can help the victim to receive the help they need from the authorities.
Many people in domestic partnerships need extra financial support to provide for the family. For this reason, a PPO can be given to one partner who is receiving extra money to care for the family and is in danger of losing her or his job if the PPO is revoked. A domestic partnership may be an opportunity for the two people in the relationship to work out their differences without the use of violence.
A domestic partnership lawyer will make sure that any special needs that the victim has will be taken care of. These might include elder care, transportation, or medical costs that are beyond the couple’s means. A domestic partnership law can protect these individuals and give them the ability to maintain their basic standard of living. The couple should discuss all options before going ahead with a PPO. An experienced domestic partnership lawyer will be able to determine if it is the right thing for the relationship to proceed. Even if the abuse is past, a PPO may still be necessary to ensure the safety of future relationships.
Domestic partnerships give married couples the option of sharing resources and paying for things jointly. Many live together to save money. Having a domestic partnership gives them the option of saving money to provide for their families. It is more affordable to live together as a couple than to live separately. When couples choose to work together instead of trying to separate, their chances of having a successful relationship increase greatly. Many relationships have lasted years and decades even when the couple does not have children.