Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lawyer's Edge
by Bruce L. Woodbury, Esq.
Jolley, Urga, Wirth, Woodbury & Standish

Domestic Partnerships
The 2009 Nevada Legislature overrode the Governor’s veto to enact the Nevada Domestic Partnership Act. Although much of the focus has been on the consequences for same-sex couples, these laws also establish new rights and obligations for unmarried opposite-sex couples who choose to sign up.

Beginning October 1st, 2009, a domestic partnership can be established by registering with the Nevada Secretary of State. The couple must affirm that they have chosen to share one another’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship of mutual caring and that they desire to enter into a domestic partnership. To be eligible, the couple must provide proof that (a) they share a residence; (b) neither is married or a member of another domestic partnership; (c) they are not closely related by blood; (d) both are adults; and (e) both are mentally competent.

Persons who register as domestic partners will have the same rights and duties under the law as those who are spouses. This includes rights and obligations regarding inheritance; rights and obligations with regard to a child of either of them; and rights and obligations regarding property, financial support and assumption of debts upon termination of the partnership.

To terminate a domestic partnership, divorce procedures must be followed unless the parties qualify for simplified termination proceedings in a partnership of five years or less, where there is no dispute as to children, property or support.

The law also protects domestic partners from discrimination, but employers are not required to provide health care benefits for partners of employees, and religious organizations are not mandated to perform solemnization ceremonies for such partnerships.

Legally establishing or terminating a domestic partnership will in many ways have the same consequences as a marriage or divorce. Prior agreements and estate-planning documents prepared by an attorney should be considered.

Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish, with offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas. Call Bruce at 293-3674 or 699-7500, or visit his website at

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