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Domestic Partnership

What is a Domestic Partnership Registration?
The City of Boulder's domestic partnership registration program is a means by which unmarried, committed couples who share a life and home together may document their relationship.

Where can we register for a domestic partnership?
Office of the City Clerk
Boulder, Colorado 80302
303-441-4222
Appointment Necessary

Wednesdays between 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Registration takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Who are Domestic Partners?
Domestic partners are two people who have signed an affidavit swearing that they are:

  • Are in a relationship of mutual support, caring, and commitment and intend to remain in such a relationship;
  • Are each other's sole domestic partner
  • Are both at least 18 years of age and competent to contract
  • Share a life and home together
  • Are not related by kinship closer than would bar marriage in the State of Colorado
  • Are not married.


Do We Have To Be Residents of the City of Boulder?
No. The City of Boulder's Domestic Partnership Registration is open to all interested couples.

What are the Steps to Register and How Much Does It Cost?
The following steps are used by the City Clerk in registering domestic partners:

  1. To register a domestic partnership, both parties must be present.
  2. A picture identification card is required from both partners (i.e., driver's license, passport, military id). The Clerk will verify the identity of both individuals and date of birth (both must be at least 18 years of age).
  3. An appointment is required to register.
  4. Registration fee is $25, payable at the time of registration (cash in the exact amount or check payable to the City of Boulder).
  5. Registrants will provide verification of same address.

    Examples of acceptable proof:
    • Joint checking account;
    • Joint mortgage/title of vehicle;
    • Driver's Licenses with same address; and
    • Official mail such as: utility or phone bills delivered to each at same address.
       
  6. Registrants sign an affidavit/certificate that they are domestic partners and meet the requirements.
  7. The Clerk or the Clerk's designee signs the affidavit/certificate.

To provide for confidentiality and public information requirements, there are two ways to register. All registrants follow the same steps described above. Registrants may then either choose to:

  1. Have their names in the database.
  2. Request that your names and year of birth not appear in the database. If you choose not to file your registration with the City Clerk's Office no public record of your partnership will exist.

The Clerk's Office will record information in the database, which will become part of the public record. The database will include names and year of birth (if you chose option 1 above), dates of registering and certificate numbers. In both ways of registering, the registering couple will be given the original, signed affidavit/certificate.

What If We Wish to Terminate Our Domestic Partnership?
A domestic partnership may be ended when:

  • One of the partners dies.
  • No longer are in a committed relationship or share a common household.
  • The partners no longer meet one or more of the requirements included in the affidavit for domestic partnership.
  • Notice of Termination is submitted to City Clerk of Boulder with the termination fee of $25.
  • Send termination form and fee to City Clerk's Office, PO Box 791, Boulder, CO  80306

 When a domestic partnership ends, the partners mail in the notice of termination form (including certificate number if possible), naming the partners and stating that the partnership has ended. The notice must be signed and dated by at least one partner. If only one partner signs, that partner must provide evidence (certified mail receipt) that they have attempted to notify the other partner of the termination of the partnership.

What About Legal Rights and Responsibilities?
Domestic partnership registration is voluntary, and does not create any new or different legal rights or responsibilities. The City of Boulder is not able to provide you with any legal advice concerning your partnership, and you may wish to consult an attorney for such advice. A domestic partnership does not create a "common law marriage" and may be evidence that no common law marriage has occurred. It does not create a joint venture or partnership or create any other legal rights between the partners or relating to any third partner. However, it may be used as evidence that an intimate relationship existed between the parties. 

Because domestic partnership does not provide for many things covered by legal marriage, you should consult an attorney and make arrangements for a number of matters, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Wills: A document which comes into effect upon your death which allows you to designate who will take your remaining assets, who will make sure that your wishes are complied with and what happens to your body. If there are minor children involved it is also an opportunity to designate a Conservator and Guardian. (Please be aware that wills can be overridden by joint tenancy ownerships in personal and real property and designated beneficiaries in documents outside of the will such as life insurance policies.)
  • Power of Attorney: A document that comes into effect upon your mental and/or physical incapacity. It gives the authority to another individual to make any and all decisions concerning your finances and health care. It also requires the Court to consider that individual an interested party for the appointment of your Conservator and/or Guardian upon your long-term disability.
  • Medical Matters: The only way to be certain that your partner can make decisions about your care if you become too incapacitated to make decisions for yourself is to make advance directives. The Colorado Medical Association has developed a pamphlet that describes (and provides sample forms) for living wills, medical durable powers of attorney, substitute decision makers (medical proxies), and guardians.
  • A Living Together Agreement (also known as a Relationship Agreement or Co-Habitation Agreement): A document that comes into effect upon the termination of your relationship. It sets forth the understanding between the partners as to how the personal and real property should be divided and how the joint liability should be allocated. This document is typically tailored to the needs of the couple and financial formulas are used. The existence of this document may avoid costly civil actions against each other under contract, partnership, joint venture, tort, and common law marriage.
  • Dependents: Again, a domestic partnership has no effect on matters related to children or dependents of either or both partners. You should consult with an attorney regarding these matters.

For Further Information About Domestic Partnership Registration, call:

For Appointments, (303) 441-4222

Office of Human Rights,  (303) 441-3140

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