Washington Domestic Partnership Legislation: Legal Perspective
SEATTLE — The Washington State House of Representatives has passed a measure to expand the state’s domestic partnership law. The vote was 62 to 32.
The legislation grants same-sex couples more than 170 of the benefits and responsibilities given to married couples, including property and guardianship rights. It adds domestic partners to sections of laws where previously only spouses were mentioned, including sections about probate and trusts, community property, child custody, and homestead exemptions.
This is the second year of important legislation which started with the passage of the Domestic Partnership bill in 2007, according to family law attorneys, Elizabeth Hershman-Greven and Justin Sedell. Both are attorneys at family law firm McKinley Irvin. They specialize in legal counsel to the LGBT community.
“Same sex couples and people over the age of 62 should pay attention. This is milestone legislation which bolster the impact of what was already voted in to law,” stated Hershman-Greven.
“This is a major event and the benefits of the proposed legislation are enormous. In terms of family law alone, it will apply community property and child custody laws to registered domestic partners exactly as these laws apply to others. This needs to be taken seriously,” added Sedell.
Details about the domestic partnership law and individual rights are also available at www.mckinleyirvin.com. Hershman-Greven and Sedell are available to discuss issues from a legal perspective and how these new rights may affect thousands of Washington State residents.