Can I get a spouse rider on my life insurance policy to cover my domestic partner?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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If you live in a common law state and are in a relationship that is recognized by common law regulations, you should be able to get a spouse rider. If you do not live in a common law state or are in a domestic partnership that is not recognized under common law regulations, then the answer will depend on the life insurance company you choose. Some have domestic partner riders that are similar to spouse riders. Because legal authorities in your state do not always recognize a domestic partnership, you may have to prove joint assets in order to get the rider.

There are currently only 13 states that recognize long-term domestic cohabitation as a common law marriage although some others have grandfathered it in. Iowa is currently the only state that recognizes same-sex domestic partnerships as possible common-law marriages, as long as the relationship meets the other required tests. Each state has its own tests, so you need to check with your state for details, but generally they include certain age restrictions, ability to give consent and cohabitation details.

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