On November 6, 2013, the Board of County Commissioners of Sarasota County, Florida, passed and duly adopted an Ordinance creating Article XII of Chapter 62 of the Code of Ordinances, establishing a domestic partnership registry in Sarasota County.
Sarasota County Ordinance #2013-037 states that a Domestic Partner means one of two individuals who are parties to a domestic partnership, and that a Domestic Partnership means a committed domestic relationship between two individuals that meets all of the criteria described in Section 62 -337 of Article XII.
To register, partners must:
- Complete an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Registration. Blank forms are available at the Clerk and Comptroller's office;
- Pay a recording fee;
- Bring two witness at the time of registration; and
- Apply in person, together at one of the following Clerk and Comptroller's office locations:
Sarasota Main Office
2000 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34237
Venice Branch Office
4000 South Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL 34293
Registering requires that both parties are present at the time the paperwork is filed, and have brought two witnesses. Upon completion and recordation, registrants will receive a Certificate of Registration.
Fees may be paid by cash, credit card, check, or money order payable to the Sarasota County Clerk and Comptroller. All credit card transactions are subject to a 3.5% non-refundable fee, assessed by a third-party payment processor (MyFloridaCounty.com).
The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Registration and any other documents related to Ordinance #2013-037 will be open for public inspection in the Official Records of Sarasota County, Florida. Certified copies can be obtained from the Clerk and Comptroller's Public Access department.
Amendment or Termination
What is a Domestic Partner? What is a Domestic Partnership?
Sarasota County Ordinance 2013-037 Section 62-336, Definitions, provides the following definitions:
- A Domestic Partner means one of two individuals who are parties to a domestic partnership.
- A Domestic Partnership means a committed domestic relationship between two individuals that meets all of the criteria described in Section 62-337 of Article XII of the Code of Ordinances.
What are the requirements of the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership?
Partners must complete an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Registration.
Sarasota County Ordinance #2013-037 Section 62-337, Registration of Domestic Partnership, states that an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership shall contain the name and address of each domestic partner, the signature of each partner, the signatures of two witnesses, and each partner shall swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that:
- Each individual is at least eighteen (18) years old and competent to contract;
- Neither individual is currently married under Florida Law or is a partner in a domestic partnership or a member of civil union with anyone other than the co-applicant;
- They are not related by blood as defined in Florida Law;
- Each individual considers himself or herself to be a member of the immediate family of the other partner and to be jointly responsible for maintaining and supporting the Domestic Partner;
- The partners reside in a mutual residence located in Sarasota County, Florida;
- Each individual agrees to immediately notify the Clerk, in writing, if the terms of the Registered Domestic Partnership are no longer applicable or one of the Domestic Partners wishes to terminate the Domestic Partnership;
- Each individual expressly declares their desire and intent to designate their Domestic Partner as their healthcare surrogate and as their agent to direct the disposition of their body for funeral and burial.
Do we have to register for a domestic partnership in person, and where?
What is the cost for a Domestic Partnership?
Fees are set by Florida Statute 28.24 and may be paid by cash, credit card, check, or money order payable to Sarasota County Clerk and Comptroller. All credit card transactions are subject to a 3.5% non-refundable fee, assessed by a third-party payment processor (MyFloridaCounty.com).
- Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and Certificate of Registration - $20.50
- Amendment to the Certificate of Registration - $13.50
- Declaration of Termination of Domestic Partnership - $13.50
- Proof of Service, Accompanying a Declaration of Termination of Domestic Partnership - $8.50
What will we receive showing that we have registered?Registered partners will receive one Certificate of Registration upon submission of completed forms and payment of fees. Once recorded, a certified copy of the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Registration can be purchased from the Clerk's Public Access Department for an additional fee.
Is our registration information private?No, the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership Registration and any other documents related to Ordinance 2013-037 will be open for public inspection in the Official Records of Sarasota County, Florida.
What rights of domestic partners are provide for in the ordinance?
Sarasota County Ordinance 2013-037 Section 62-340, Rights of Registered Domestic Partnership, provides, to the extent not superseded or pre-empted by federal laws, state laws, or other Sarasota County law or ordinance, or contrary to rights conferred by contract or separate legal instrument, rights for registered domestic partners covering the following. Please review Sarasota County Code of Ordinances, Article XII - Domestic Partnership Registry for complete information.
- Health Care Facility Visitation
- Health Care Decisions
- Funeral/Burial Decisions
- Notification of Family Members
- Preneed Guardian Designation
- Correctional Facility Visitation Rights
Is there reciprocity?Sarasota County Ordinance #2013-037 Section 62-342, Reciprocity, provides information about rights, privileges and benefits extended to Registered Domestic Partners.
What does "mutual residence" mean? What if we own more than one house?Sarasota County Ordinance #2013-037 provides that a mutual residence means a permanent residence located in Sarasota County, FL shared by the Registered Domestic Partners. Domestic Partners are not prohibited from owning more than one residence. Temporary relocation of one partner for education or military service does not negate the maintenance of a mutual residence provided the Domestic Partner intends to return to the residence.
How does a Domestic Partnership terminate?
Sarasota County Ordinance 2013-037 Section 62-338, Termination of Registered Domestic Partnership, provides information on the following topics.
- Obligation to notify the Clerk
- Declaration of Termination
- Effective Date of Termination
- Automatic Termination