September 30, 2014

Domestic partners ready for documents

Same sex couples today are applying for a Declaration of Domestic Partnership.

Domestic partners in Wisconsin can now get a legal document formalizing their relationship. Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake says her office is ready for everyone.

"Our staff in the state vital records office have been very busy for the last month or so developing the necessary forms, providing training to county clerks as well as registers of deeds."

Timberlake says the declaration would help with legal transactions, such as transferring property, executing a Will, accessing health benefits, family medical leave, and visitation in health care settings.

People eligible to apply would be unmarried adults of the same sex who are living together." Couples can apply at their county clerk's office.

You'll need to pay a fee, which Timberlake says is set by each individual county. In Dane County it's $115 — the same as a marriage license fee.

Applicants will receive their document in approximately five days.

In order to avoid delays, Timberlake suggests you be prepared with your papers, including a certified copy of your birth certificate, photo ID, proof of residence, and social security number. The registry faces a legal challenge by Wisconsin Family Action.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:23 mp3)