The Leon County Board of County Commissioners established a Domestic Partnership Registry for Leon County, which enables adult couples, who live in a committed family relationship, but who are unmarried under Florida law, to register their partnership with the Leon County Clerk of Courts.
See Domestic Partnership forms listed below:
Search Domestic Partnership Registry in Official Records
Read Ordinance No. 13-09, which established the registry
Frequently Asked Questions
- WHEN DID THE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP BECOME EFFECTIVE?
May 1, 2013.
- WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY?
A number of Leon County citizens live in a committed family relationship, outside the bounds of legally recognized marriage, and are often denied certain rights and benefits. The 2010 U.S. Census reported that 7,535 of Leon County’s households were unmarried partner households, which equates to 6.8% of the County’s households, and 15.6% of the County’s “couple households” (i.e., husband/wife and unmarried partner households).
The Domestic Partnership Registry Ordinance affords adult couples, who are not married under Florida law, the ability to register their committed domestic partnership relationship and to be extended certain legal rights with respect to healthcare decisions, funeral and burial decisions, preneed guardian designations, participation in the education of a child, notification in emergencies, and, when appropriate, healthcare and correctional facilities visitations.
- WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF REGISTERING A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP?
The following summarizes the rights granted to Leon County’s Registered Domestic Partners, to the extent these rights are not superseded by federal or state laws, or contrary to rights conferred by contract or separate legal instrument:
a) Healthcare facility visitation - Healthcare facilities operating within or under the jurisdiction of Leon County shall allow a registered domestic partner visitation as provided under federal law. A dependent of a registered domestic partner shall have the same visitation rights as a patient’s child.
b) Healthcare decisions - Each registered domestic partner is designated to make health care decisions for their incapacitated partner, and is authorized to act as the other’s healthcare surrogate.
c) Funeral and burial decisions - Each registered domestic partner is authorized to direct the disposition of their partner’s body for funeral and burial purposes, unless the decedent provided other written direction subsequent to registering their domestic partnership.
d) Notification of family members - In any situation providing for mandatory or permissible notification of family members, such as in an emergency or when permission is granted to inmates to contact family members, such notification shall include a registered domestic partner.
e) Preneed guardian designation - Each registered domestic partner has the same right as any other individual to be designated as a preneed guardian pursuant to Florida law, and to serve in such capacity in the event of his or her registered domestic partner’s incapacity.
f) Correctional facility visitation rights - Each registered domestic partner is entitled to visit their partner, or other family member of their partner, who is an inmate at a correctional facility located within or under the jurisdiction of Leon County, under the same terms and conditions afforded to spouses, children or parents of inmates, and these visitation rights extend to an inmate’s registered domestic partner, and to an inmate’s registered domestic partner’s dependents, sons, daughters, and parents.
g) Participation in education – In all educational facilities located within or under the jurisdiction of Leon County, each registered domestic partner has the same rights to participate in the education of a dependent of the registered domestic partnership as a biological parent has to participate in the education of their child. However, if a biological parent of a minor dependent (whose parental rights have not been terminated) objects to a registered domestic partner (who is not the biological parent of the minor dependent) participating in education conferences or other dissemination of education information, then only the biological parents shall be allowed to participate.
- WHAT IS A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP?
It is a committed domestic relationship between two individuals who:
a) Are at least 18 years old and competent to contract;
b) Are not currently married under Florida law;
c) Are not currently a partner in a domestic partnership relationship or a member of civil union with anyone else;
d) Are not blood relatives, where one is a direct ascendant or direct descendant of the other (such as a son, daughter, parent, or grandparent), or a sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew;
e) Consent to the domestic partnership and to registering the domestic partnership without force, duress, or fraud;
f) Agree to be jointly responsible in the support of the domestic partnership;
g) Expressly declares his or her desire and intent to designate their domestic partner as their healthcare surrogate and agent to direct disposition of their body for funeral and burial; and
h) Consider himself or herself as being in a committed domestic relationship with the other domestic partner, and consider himself or herself to be a member of the immediate family of the other domestic partner.
- HOW DO WE REGISTER OUR DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP?
Before you decide to register your domestic partnership, it is important that both partners understand the rights and benefits of being registered domestic partners. Both partners should read the “What is a Domestic Partnership?” section of this document. If both partners believe their partnership meets the criteria of a domestic partnership, both partners should also read the following:
a) Leon County Ordinance No. 13-09 which established the Domestic Partnership Registry, a copy of which may be found at: https://cvweb.clerk.leon.fl.us/public/clerk_services/finance/ordinances_resolutions/ordinance_resolution_search.asp.
This will provide you with an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of being registered domestic partners.
b) The Leon County Registered Domestic Partnership Registration Affidavit and instructions for completion. This will be which will be available from the Leon County Clerk of Courts’ website at http://www.clerk.leon.fl.us/
To register a domestic partnership, both partners must come in person, together, to the Leon County Clerk of Courts Official Records/Marriage/Passports office, located at 313 S. Calhoun Street, #101, Tallahassee, Florida (the County Clerk’s office). Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A recording fee of $50.00 is required, and must be remitted at the time of application by cash, credit card, or check (made payable to the Leon County Clerk of Courts).
Upon you arrival, the County Clerk’s office will provide you a blank Domestic Partnership Registration (DPR) Affidavit form to complete. The DPR Affidavit must be signed and initialed, as applicable, in the presence of the County Clerk or his or her designee, with two witnesses. Witnesses must not be blood relatives of either partner. You may bring witnesses with you, or staff of the County Clerk’s office may serve as witnesses. As evidence of identify, both partners must present one of the following documents for review by the County Clerk or his or her designee: a Florida driver’s license, a Florida Identification Card, a United States Passport, or any other document listed in the Florida Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries as satisfactory evidence.
After both partners have effectively completed the DPR Affidavit, they will be asked to sign, under oath, with penalty of perjury, that the statements and information provided are true and correct. The witnesses will sign the completed DPR Affidavit, and the County Clerk or his or her designee will sign and seal the DPR Affidavit. The partners will pay the $50.00 recording fee. The County Clerk’s office will record the DPR Affidavit in the Official Records of Leon County, and will provide the registered domestic partners with a Certificate of Registration, and the original, recorded DPR Affidavit. Additionally, each registered domestic partner will be provided a laminated card recognizing the registered domestic partnership in Leon County.
Where do we go to register? Leon County Clerk of Courts Official Records/Marriage/Passports office, located at 313 S. Calhoun Street, #101, Tallahassee Florida. Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Do we have to register in person? Yes. Both partners must come to the County Clerk’s office together.
Do we complete the Domestic Partnership Registration Affidavit in advance? No. You will complete the affidavit while you are at the County Clerk’s office.
What does it cost to register? $50.00, which must be remitted at the time you complete the Domestic Partnership Registration Affidavit. Payment may be made by cash, credit card, or check (made payable to the Leon County Clerk of Courts).
What to bring? $50.00 (cash, credit card, or check – made payable to the Leon County Clerk of Courts) and evidence of identify (one of the following for each partner: a Florida driver’s license, a Florida Identification Card, a United States Passport, or any other document listed in the Florida Governor’s Reference Manual for Notaries as satisfactory evidence). Additionally, you may bring two witnesses who are not blood relatives of either of the partners, or staff of the County Clerk’s office may serve as witnesses. You do not need to bring witnesses with you.
What proof do we receive showing that we have registered? The registered domestic partners will receive a Certificate of Registration, and the original, recorded DPR Affidavit. Additionally, each partner will receive a laminated card recognizing the registered domestic partnership in Leon County. The registration affidavit will be recorded in the Official Records of Leon County, and may be viewed online via a searchable database accessible through the County Clerk’s website.
- WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DOMESTIC PARTNER AND I BREAK UP OR OUR PARTNERSHIP ENDS?
If one or both of the partners wishes to terminate their registered domestic partnership or if their registered domestic partnership automatically terminates (as described below), one or both partners must come to the County Clerk’s office and complete an Affidavit of Termination of Registered Domestic Partnership (“Affidavit of Termination”).
If both partners do not complete the Affidavit of Termination, then the partner who is executing the affidavit is asked to provide the County Clerk’s office with their former partner’s last know mailing address.
Upon the partner(s) completion of the Affidavit of Termination and payment of the required $20.00 fee, the County Clerk’s office will record the Affidavit of Termination in the Official Records of Leon County. If the Affidavit of Termination was completed by only one of the partners, then the County Clerk’s office will additionally send a copy of the Certificate of Termination of Domestic Partnership to the absent, former partner.
A registered domestic partnership automatically terminates if one (or both) of the partners becomes married under Florida law; one of the partners dies (however, provisions relating to funeral and burial decisions survive); or one (or both) of the partners enters into a civil union of registered domestic partnership with someone else. The marrying, surviving, or re-registering partner(s) is/are responsible for executing the Affidavit of Termination and having it recorded in the Official Record of Leon County within ten days of the occurrence of the event that led to the automatic termination.
- WHAT IF ONE, OR BOTH, OF THE PARTNERS LEGALLY CHANGES THEIR NAME?
To update your registered domestic partnership records to reflect a legal name change, both partners must come to the County Clerk’s office and complete an Affidavit of Amendment of Registered Domestic Partnership (“Affidavit of Amendment”) and present a certified copy of the court order granting the legal name change, for review by the County Clerk or his or her designee. Upon the partners’ completion of the Affidavit of Amendment, presentation of the certified court order granting the legal name change, and payment of the required $20.00 fee, the County Clerk’s office will record the Affidavit of Amendment in the Official Records of Leon County. The certified court order will not be retained by the County Clerk’s office; it will be returned to you.
- CAN I KEEP MY REGISTRATION PRIVATE?
No. Domestic partnership registration, terminations, and amendments are recorded in the Official Records of Leon County, and are subject to Florida public records laws.
- WHERE CAN I VIEW THE DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY ORDINANCE?
A copy of Leon County Ordinance No. 13-09, which established the Domestic Partnership Registry, may be viewed online at the Leon County Clerk of Courts’ website at:
- WILL LEON COUNTY OR THE LEON COUNTY CLERK OF THE COURTS OFFICE PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS?
No. Please consult an attorney for any legal issues regarding domestic partnerships.