What is a Domestic Partnership?

A domestic partnership under the laws of the State and City of New York is for couples that have a close and committed personal relationship. There is an application fee of $35 to become a domestic partnership. To revoke a domestic partnership, there is a separate flat fee of $27.

What Rights are afforded to those in a Domestic Partnership?

  • Bereavement leave from work (for city employees);
  • Visitation in a city correctional facility;
  • Visitation in Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) hospitals;
  • Eligibility to qualify as a family member to be added to an existing tenancy as a permanent resident by the New York City Housing Authority;
  • Eligibility to qualify as a family member entitled to succeed for occupancy rights as a tenant or co-operator in buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing;
  • Preservation and Development (i.e., Rent-Controlled Apartments); and
  • Health benefits provided by the City of New York to employees, retirees and eligible members of their family.

Termination of a Domestic Partnership versus Divorce

While it is less expensive to terminate a domestic partnership than it would be to divorce after marriage, there are significant differences: There’s no equitable distribution of assets in a domestic partnership, and there is no right to financial support in the form of maintenance/alimony/spousal support.

Note, although New York City recognizes domestic partnerships, private companies are not required to do so.