On June 25, 2012, the City of Tampa opened up its Domestic Partnership Registry for applications. This allows for committed same sex and unmarried heterosexual couples to have expanded rights, such as the following:
- Healthcare visitation for partners and dependents of partners;
- Healthcare decision-making for incapacitated partners;
- Funeral and burial decisions for partners;
- Notification of partners as family members in cases of emergency;
- Pre-need guardian designation will not be denied based solely on being homosexual; and
- Participation in education decisions for the partner’s dependent children.
To sign up for the registry, couples must go to the Office of the City Clerk, located at 315 East Kennedy Boulevard, Third Floor, Tampa, Florida 33602. Registration is open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., though beginning July 9 registration hours will be from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Initial registration costs $30 and is payable by cash or check (directed to the City of Tampa). Amendments to the Domestic Partnership Registry Affidavit cost $15, and terminations of domestic partnerships cost $15.
Make sure that both partners appear together to become registered, and that each partner brings photo identification (a driver’s license or other Class 1 ID).
Once you have registered, you will receive one original domestic partnership registration certificate, one additional copy of the completed registration certificate, and two copies of the unrecorded affidavit.
Make sure to keep in mind that the Tampa Domestic Partnership Registry is maintained by the City of Tampa. Accordingly, under Florida’s sunshine laws, registration will not be kept private, and will be recorded in the public records of Hillsborough County and searchable online.
I recently attended a statewide seminar on representing Florida LGBT clients, and there was a lot of excitement regarding the opening of Tampa’s registry for applicants.
If you have questions regarding your Florida family law rights and you wish to speak with a Tampa Bay family law attorney in a friendly and supportive atmosphere, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813)443-0615 or by filling out our online form.