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Frequently Asked Questions Same Sex Domestic Partner Benefits

What is the definition of a domestic partner?

For purposes of ensuring consistent implementation of the President’s memorandum, a “domestic partner” is defined in OPM regulations (e.g. 5 C.F.R. § 875.213) as a person in a domestic partnership with an employee or annuitant of the same sex.  The term “domestic partnership” is defined as a committed relationship between two adults, of the same sex, in which the partners—


(1) are each other’s sole domestic partner and intend to remain so indefinitely;


(2) maintain a common residence, and intend to continue to do so (or would maintain a common residence but for an assignment abroad or other employment-related, financial, or similar obstacle);


(3) are at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent to contract;


(4) share responsibility for a significant measure of each other’s financial obligations;


(5) are not married or joined in a civil union to anyone else;


(6) are not the domestic partner of anyone else;


(7) are not related in a way that, if they were of opposite sex, would prohibit legal marriage in the U.S. jurisdiction in which the partnership was formed;


(8) are willing to certify, if required by the agency, that they understand that willful falsification of any documentation required to establish that an individual is in a domestic partnership may lead to disciplinary action and the recovery of the cost of benefits received related to such falsification, as well as constitute a criminal violation under 18 U.S.C. § 1001, and that the method for securing such certification, if required, shall be determined by the agency; and


(9) are willing promptly to disclose, if required by the agency, any dissolution or material change in the status of the domestic partnership.

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