Domestic Partner Benefits

NMSU is committed to providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals. All university employees that have a domestic partner as defined below shall be provided services and benefits on the same basis provided to legal spouses except where expressly prohibited by law.

family_timeDomestic Partner: The university defines domestic partners as two individuals who live together in a long-term relationship of indefinite duration. There must be an exclusive mutual commitment to support each other to the same degree and in the same manner as prescribed by law for married persons.

Qualification for Domestic Partnership

To establish domestic partnership for benefits purposes both individuals must sign and submit an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership and any necessary supporting documentation to the office of Human Resource Services.

The Affidavit of Domestic Partnership requires both partners to declare:

  1. Partners are not married concurrently to other persons outside of the domestic partnership.
  2. have been in a mutually exclusive, committed relationship, and have shared a primary residence for the last twelve (12) months, intending to do so indefinitely.
  3. meet the age requirements for marriage in the State of New Mexico and are mentally competent to consent to contract.
  4. are not related by blood to the degree prohibited in a legal marriage in the State of New Mexico.
  5. are jointly responsible for the common welfare of each other and share financial obligations.

Below is a list of acceptable supporting documentation as proof:

  • Civil Union or Common Law, please provide a presently valid state-issued certificate, declaration or registration of civil union or common law union: OR
  • Domestic partners, please provide 3 of the following:
    • A joint mortgage or lease
    • Joint ownership of a motor vehicle
    • Joint bank account
    • Joint credit account
    • Domestic partner named as beneficiary of the other’s retirement benefits
    • Domestic partner named as beneficiary of the other’s life insurance
    • Domestic partner named as primary beneficiary in the other’s will
    • Household expenses listing both partners as responsible parties

Providing false information may result in disciplinary action, dismissal and reimbursement of costs involved in providing benefit coverage.

Qualifying as a Dependent of Domestic Partner

The child of a domestic partnership qualifies as an eligible dependent:

  1. if either of the domestic partners is the biological parent of the child
  2. if either or both partners are adoptive parents of the child

Services and Benefits

Domestic partners and their dependents, as defined above, shall be granted all and the same services and benefits as those provided to legal spouses and their dependents, except where expressly prohibited by law. All university policies that affect employees, legal spouses and their families also apply to employees, domestic partners and their families.

Taxability

The value of tuition and insurance benefits provided to the domestic partner is considered taxable income to the employee by the Internal Revenue Service and is subject to social security, federal, and state income tax withholding.

Termination of Domestic Partnership

Individuals granted domestic partnership status must report any change in status that terminates the relationship to Benefit Services, within 31 calendar days, by completing a Termination of Domestic Partnership form. Random audits may be conducted by the university to ensure the timely termination of the Domestic Partnership.

Forms

Policy reference: Policy 7.04 Domestic Partners