Some cities in the state of Georgia have passed laws providing for domestic partnerships. Such laws can apply to gay or straight couples who are living together without being married. To become domestic partners, the partners must register their relationship at a government office and declare that they are in a “committed” relationship.
Domestic partnerships provide some—but not all—of the legal benefits of marriage. Some of the common benefits are the right to coverage on a family health insurance policy, the right to family leave to take care of a sick partner, bereavement leave, visiting rights to hospitals and jails, and rent control benefits.
In Georgia domestic partnerships are not available in every city. The ability to register a domestic partnership in Georgia is limited to three places:
- Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County
- Fulton County
- City of Atlanta
To register a domestic partnership in Athens, the registrants must be residents of the county or have at least one partner employed by the county. The registration is open to opposite and same-sex couples.
In Fulton County the registrants must be residents of the county or have at least one partner employed by the county. It is limited to same-sex couples.
In the City of Atlanta the registrants must be residents of the city. It would seem that registrants may be same-sex or opposite-sex.
Registering for a domestic partnership, while not quite a marriage, is a significant step and can bring real benefits to a long-term relationship. For more information on the financial and other implications of a registered domestic partnership, consult with a local family law attorney.