Even though marriage is the most common way for a couple to make a legal commitment to each other, there are some states that have alternatives to marriage, namely civil unions or domestic partnerships. Of course, prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage, these alternatives were the only option for same-sex couples. While same-sex couples are no longer barred from getting married, there are still certain places, including two cities in Arizona, where couples can choose to register as domestic partners instead of entering into a marriage.
Same-Sex Marriage in Arizona
Although certain states still have laws that prohibit same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made it legal in every state. In Arizona, same-sex marriage was legalized in October 2014 by way of decisions in two cases: Connolly v. Jeanes and Majors v. Horne. Prior to these decisions, the state prohibited marriage between same-sex partners through a statute (since 1996) and a state constitutional amendment (added in 2008).
Overview of Arizona Domestic Partnership Laws
Arizona doesn't have state laws authorizing or recognizing a domestic partnership, but some Arizona cities do. The following table provides information about the cities in Arizona that have domestic partnership registries, and links to relevant websites.
No statewide statutes addressing domestic partnerships in Arizona.
|Arizona Cities that Have Domestic Partnership Registries
The cities of Phoenix and Tucson* permit couples - both same-sex and opposite-sex - to register as domestic partners.
*The "Tucson Domestic Partnership Ordinance" was later changed to the "Tucson Civil Union Ordinance."
|Requirements to Register as Domestic Partners in Phoenix
In order to register as domestic partners in Phoenix, each individual in the couple:
- Must reside in Phoenix and share a residence;
- Must be at least 18 years old and competent to enter into a contract;
- Can't be related by blood closer than what's prohibited by Arizona marriage laws;
- Can't already be in a marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union with someone else.
The couple must also be in a committed relationship and share responsibility for each other's common welfare.
|Requirements to Register as Civil Union Partners in Tucson
In order to register as civil union partners in Tucson, each individual in the couple:
- Must be at least 18 years old;
- Can't be related by blood closer that what's allowed by Arizona marriage laws;
- Competent to enter into a contract; and
- Can't already be married, in a domestic partnership, or civil union with someone else.
The couple must also share a primary residence and be in a relationship of mutual support.
Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 25:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Arizona Domestic Partnership and Same-Sex Marriage Laws: Related Resources
For additional information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links listed below.
Talk to a Lawyer About Arizona Domestic Partnership and Same-Sex Marriage Laws
Although same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the U.S., you may still want to learn about what a domestic partnership may offer. If you have questions about domestic partnership or same-sex marriage laws in Arizona, it's a good idea to speak with an experienced family law attorney in the area today.