DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS

The 2017 Wisconsin Act 59 was signed into law as part of the 2017-2019 state biennial budget on September 21, 2017. Wis. Stat. § 770.07(3) was created to read:

“No county clerk may issue a declaration of domestic partnership to individuals who apply after the effective date of this subsection.”

The effective date is the first day of the seventh month beginning after publication, or April 1, 2018.

As of April 1, 2018, our office can no longer issue Domestic Partnerships.

  

TERMINATING A DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP

How do you terminate a Domestic Partnership?

  • Partners who want to terminate their Wisconsin domestic partnership must file a notice of termination of the domestic partnership in the same County Clerk’s office that issued the Declaration of Domestic Partnership. This is true even if both or either partner no longer resides in that county.
  • Both parties must sign the notice of termination and submit it to the County Clerk.
  • If only one party is available or willing to sign the notice of termination, the domestic partner seeking the termination must complete an Affidavit stating:
    • that the other domestic partner was served in writing, in the manner stated in Wis. Stat. § 801.11, that a Notice of Termination of Domestic Partnership is being filed with the County Clerk; or
    • that an official public notice was published in a newspaper where the non-filing partner was last known to be living.
  • Upon receipt of the completed notice of termination (and affidavit, if required), and payment of the fee, the County Clerk issues an ‘Original Certificate of Termination of Domestic Partnership’ to the party filing the notice. Although there is no waiting period for the County Clerk to issue the Certificate of Termination, due to time constraints the County Clerk may set a reasonable time frame for issuing the Certificate of Termination after the notification is filed.
  • The domestic partner who files the notice of termination is responsible for completing the Certificate of Termination and filing it with the Register of Deeds office in the same county that issued the Certificate of Termination.

When does the termination become effective?

  • The termination of the domestic partnership goes into effect 90 days after the date the Certificate of Termination is filed in the Register of Deeds Office.
  • There is no time limit for filing the Certificate of Termination with the Register of Deeds Office.

What if one of the partners chooses to get married?

  • If one of the partners marries during the domestic partnership, the domestic partnership is terminated immediately (as of the date of the marriage).

What is the fee for terminating a domestic partnership?

  • In Rock County, the County Clerk’s fee for issuing the Certificate of Termination is $100.00. The fee may be different in other counties.
  • There is no fee to file the Certificate of Termination with the Register of Deeds.

How does a party get certified copies of the Certificate of Termination?

  • Certified copies of the Certificate of Termination can be purchased from the Register of Deeds or from the State Vital Records Office (the same copy fees apply: $20.00 for the first copy and $3.00 for each additional copy of the same Certificate of Termination ordered at the same time).

NOTE: Under vital records law, it is illegal for anyone besides the Register of Deeds or the State Vital Records Office to make copies of the Original Certificate of Termination of a Domestic Partnership document, including the partners themselves.