DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Is there a waiting period between the end of a “legal relationship” (domestic partnership or marriage) and the date a person can enter into a new one?
- There is a 90-day waiting period between the date the termination of domestic partnership is filed at the Register of Deeds Office and the date that a party can enter into a new domestic partnership.
- There is no waiting period between the death of a domestic partner and application for a declaration of domestic partnership.
- There is no waiting period between a divorce or annulment from a former spouse and application for a declaration of domestic partnership.
- There is no waiting period if the domestic partnership ended because of the subsequent marriage of one of the domestic partners.
2. What if one of the partners chooses to get married?
- If one of the partners marries during the domestic partnership, the domestic partnership is terminated immediately (as of the date of the marriage).
3. If a couple is already registered as domestic partners (in another state or a local domestic partner registry in Wisconsin) or are married to each other (in another state) are they automatically transferred to the State’s Domestic Partner Registry?
- No. Domestic partnership registrations from cities or counties will not be automatically transferred to the State Domestic Partner Registry within the Vital Records System. Likewise, partnerships registered in other states will not automatically be added to the Wisconsin Registry.
- Couples who want to register under the new Statewide Domestic Partnership program must follow the same process as described in question 1, above. The applicants should not list the prior local partnership registration when answering the question “Number of this domestic partnership.
- If the applicant is currently a party to a legal domestic partnership with a different partner in another state, the applicant should review the laws of that state before entering into another domestic partnership in Wisconsin.
- If the applicant is currently registered in a “local” (city or county) domestic partnership registry with one partner, the applicant should seek legal advice before entering into a State-recognized domestic partnership with a different partner.
- Partners who married each other in another state can apply for domestic partnership status in Wisconsin. The partners should not declare their marital status as “legally married” at the time of application, because only unmarried persons may register a domestic partnership.
4. What rights does a domestic partner have to obtain vital records related to his or her domestic partner?
- Parties will have familial rights to obtain copies of their current domestic partners’ vital records in the following cases
- Birth record of domestic partner
- Death record of domestic partner
- Prior marriage/divorce record of domestic partner
NOTE: To obtain certified copies of other types of records (example: birth records of a domestic partner’s children), the domestic partner would require additional proof of direct and tangible interest in the record.