• Marriage in Maine

Domestic Partnerships

What is meant by the phrase "domestic partner"?

"Domestic partners" means two unmarried adults who are domiciled together under long-term arrangements that evidence a commitment to remain indefinitely responsible for each other's welfare.

When did Maine's domestic partner registry law take effect?

The 121st Maine Legislature passed LD 1579, a domestic partner registry bill, in April 2004. The law went into effect on July 30, 2004. The law extends inheritance rights, next of kin status, victim's compensation and guardian and conservator rights to domestic partners in Maine.

What benefits does Maine's domestic partner laws offer?

There are six major (and one minor) protections that domestic partners in Maine receive through the combination of the registry law and amendments to various state statutes.  

  1. The right to inherit a deceased partner’s property.  
  2. Will be considered next of kin when making funeral and burial arrangements.
  3. The right to serve as guardian or conservator of partner's property if partner becomes incapacitated.
  4. The right to visit one's partner in the hospital.
  5. If an employee works for a company that offers domestic partner health insurance policies, then employee may request insurance for his/her partner and children. (Companies in Maine are not required to offer domestic partner insurance policies and many do not). 
  6. The right to take up to 10 weeks of unpaid leave to care for one's seriously ill or dying partner or children. 
  7. The right to submit to a town clerk a partner's absentee ballot.  

Who can become registered domestic partners?

Domestic partners may become registered domestic partners if:

  1. Domestic partners must be mentally competent adults and not impaired or related in a fashion that would prohibit marriage under Title 19-A;
  2. Domestic partners have been legally domiciled together in this State for at least 12 months preceding the filing;
  3. Domestic partners are neither married nor in a registered domestic partnership with another individual; and 
  4. Domestic partner is the sole domestic partner of the other and expects to remain so.

How do I register my domestic partnership?

Visit the Maine Domestic Partner Registry. You'll need to fill out the form and have it notarized - or ask an attorney. Then submit your form and the $50 processing fee to the Maine Office of Vital Records.

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