But for same-sex couples seeking to buy in the Golden State, the law now treats them the same as any married couple. Hartmann, who specializes in tax and estate planning for same-sex couples. A key provision of the federal law, which withheld benefits from gay couples who had been lawfully married in those states that permit it, was struck down last week by the Supreme Court. The California Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibility Act of , effective January 1, , resulted in extending the community property interest so that registered domestic partners after that date can also have a community property interest in the common residence  , among other property. The Court further held that in the absence of an express contract, the Court could inquire into the conduct of the parties to determine whether the conduct of the parties demonstrates an implied contract, agreement of partnership or joint venture, or some other tacit understanding between the parties. A termination of the right of survivorship with community property reverts the property to community property without survivorship rights. There may also be tax advantages afforded by a community property with right of survivorship interest as opposed to a joint tenancy for which clients should consult their tax attorneys, CPAs or tax advisors. Community property is assigned a fair market value, and after taking into account community obligations and debts, the community property is distributed equally among the parties. He can be reached at steven mehlmanlawgroup. The only exceptions to this rule are the simultaneous death of all joint tenants or the murder of one joint tenant by another. Those changes will affect the mortgage interest tax deduction and Veterans Affairs home loans. In this situation, it is imperative for partners to negotiate and establish agreements on how the responsibilities of raising the child will be divided. Unlike joint tenancy, however, under tenancy by the entirety the home is more fully protected from creditors. However, as federal laws do not recognize domestic partnerships, any property settlement, alimony, or child support you pay or receive may be taxable without the deductions or exemptions afforded to former spouses. In same-sex families where the parents are not married or domestic partners, the partner that is not a legal parent will usually have no rights or obligations as to the child if they do not act to defend the relationship. Print article Same-sex couples often jump through legal hoops when dealing with their joint finances -- and owning real estate is no exception.