We, __________________________ and _________________________, make the following agreement:
1. We enter into this contract to set forth our rights and responsibilities to each other.
2. We intend to abide by the provisions of this agreement in the spirit of love, joy, cooperation, and good faith. [Specify the consideration for the contract].
3. We agree that all property owned by either of us, as of the date of this agreement, shall be considered to be and shall remain the separate property of each. Neither of us will have any claim to the separate property of the other absent a written agreement transferring ownership. A list of our major items of separate property are attached and incorporated into this agreement.
4. Our individual income, earned while we are living together and during this relationship, shall belong to both of us in equal shares. Likewise, all property accumulated from that income shall belong to both of us in equal shares. In the event we separate and/or terminate this domestic partnership we agree to divide all such accumulated property, in whatever form, equally between us.
5. We agree to maintain joint bank accounts. This includes checking and savings accounts. In the event we decide to obtain a joint credit card account we agree to be jointly liable for the credit card balance.
6. Neither party shall be responsible or liable for any credit card debt incurred by the other on his/her individual credit card accounts.
7. Neither of us shall be liable or responsible for the debts incurred by the other as an individual.
8. We agree to be jointly responsible for all joint debts and expenses.
9. We agree to equally divide all household and living expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, groceries, utilities, rent, and daily household expenses.
10. We also agree that we may, at some time, agree to own real property jointly. Any jointly held real property ownership shall be reflected either in writing or on the title to said property. In the event we dissolve our domestic partnership, we provide that any jointly held property will be divided into equal shares, unless we provide otherwise in a written document.
11. Any property received by one of us through gift or inheritance remains the separate property of the recipient. The other party has no claim on that separate property unless provided for in a written instrument.
12. Neither of us has any rights to, nor any financial interest in, any separate real estate owned entirely or partially by the other person. This includes any real property accumulated before or during our relationship.
13. We agree that either party can terminate this contract by giving the other party a one-week written notice of that intent. If either of us seriously considers leaving the relationship we both agree to at least three counseling sessions with a professional counselor or therapist.
14. In the event that this relationship is terminated we agree to divide all jointly held property equally. Neither of us shall have any claim against the other for support, property, or financial assistance.
15. We agree to resolve any dispute arising from this agreement through mediation. The mediator shall be an objective third party who is mutually agreed upon. The mediator’s role shall be to help us dissolve our relationship and resolve any differences concerning a division of jointly held property or other issues in a mature and unemotional manner. We agree to enter into mediation in good faith.
16. In the event that our attempt at good-faith mediation is unsuccessful to resolve all issues in dispute, either party may seek to resolve the issues through arbitration through the use of the following protocol:
a. Deliver a written demand for arbitration to the other person and name one arbitrator;
b. The other party shall respond with the name of a second arbitrator within five days from receipt of the notice;
c. The two named arbitrators shall select and name a third arbitrator;
d. The arbitration meeting will take place within seven days following the selection of the third arbitrator;
e. Each party is entitled to retain legal counsel at his/her own expense;
f. Each party may present witnesses and evidence at the arbitration hearing;
g. The arbitrators shall issue their decision within five days after the hearing. Their decision shall set forth their findings and conclusion and shall be in writing. The decision shall be binding upon each of us. We agree that neither party shall seek relief from the arbitration decision in court.
h. If the person to whom an arbitration demand is made fails to respond within five days, the other party may give an additional five days’ written notice of his/her intent to proceed. If there is still no response, the person initiating the arbitration may proceed with the arbitration before an arbitrator he/she has designated. Any award shall have the same force and effect as if all three arbitrators had settled it.
17. This agreement represents our complete understanding concerning our domestic partnership. It replaces any and all prior agreements, written or oral. We agree that this document can be amended only in writing and must be signed by both of us.
18. We acknowledge that both of us have had the opportunity to consult with an attorney of our choice to review this document. We also acknowledge that each of us, as individuals, is responsible for consulting with an attorney. The failure or refusal of either or both of us to do so shall not be construed to mean this Domestic Partnership Agreement was not entered into willingly, freely, and voluntarily by both of us.
19. We agree that in the event a court finds any portion of this contract to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the contract shall remain in full force and effect.
Signed this _____ day of ______________, 20__, at _____________________, _______________.
State of ___________________
County of _________________
______________________ and _____________________________, personally appeared before me and executed and acknowledged this Domestic Partnership Agreement before me this ____ day of ____________, 20__.
Exhibit A: Separate Property of ____________________________________________
Exhibit B: Separate Property of ____________________________________________
Exhibit C: Jointly Held Property of _________________ and ___________________