Part II: Marriage Does Not Invalidate Domestic Partnership

As mentioned in our previous blog (In Estate of Wilson (2012), Cal.App.4th) Konou appealed the trial court's ruling that rejected his claim on Wilson's estate. The trial court found that the domestic partnership agreement between Wilson and Konou remained valid after the marriage. The court also found that Konou waived his rights to any present and future interest in Wilson's estate, thus, forfeiting his rights to Wilson's assets.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's ruling stating that Wilson and Konou never dissolved their domestic partnership pursuant to section 299, even after they got married. Their marriage did not modify or terminate any existing agreement regarding the division of property. The domestic partnership agreement serves the same function as a premarital agreement and, unless the express terms of the agreement provide otherwise, it remains in effect during a marriage. Additionally, the domestic partnership agreement did not specify that it would become void if the law changed to permit same-sex marriage. As a matter of fact, the agreement provided that "any subsequent changes in California or federal law that create or give rise to additional or altered rights and obligations of the parties shall not affect this Agreement." And since no new agreement was signed regarding property disposition when Wilson and Konou got married, then the domestic partnership agreement remains in effect. Consequently, the trial court's judgment was affirmed and Konou was ordered to pay the costs of appeal.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.

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