Our software needs to correctly state that the filled in value can be either a domestic partner or spouse. Using this terminology "Domestic partner or spouse" throughout the entire application isn't preferred (there's a lot of forms related to this).

Is there a word that describes a domestic partner or spouse that can be justified legally (no ambiguity)

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    Probably 'cohabitee'. However laws depend on country and on region within some countries. Also cohabitee may be a British term (I don't know) and presumes a sexual relationship. google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=cohabitee If you want an accurate legal term then I suggest law.stackexchange.com – chasly from UK Nov 7 '15 at 15:57
  • You are going to have a problem with justified legally. Many jurisdictions do not recognize domestic partner and where recognized, what it means varies among jurisdictions. – bib Nov 7 '15 at 16:15
  • @Elian companion may mean a paid attendant who cares for someone who is not fully independent. It may have very different legal status from a domestic partner or spouse. – bib Nov 7 '15 at 16:23
  • @contactmatt How about "cohabitant"? – Elian Nov 7 '15 at 16:51
  • My boss (a lawyer) regularly uses "paramour" but only when the parties are not married. Even he admits that he is using a lose interpretation of the definition for the word (he ignores the requirement that the party is married to someone else). However, his meaning is always understood by other attorneys in the local area (small town USA). Probably not helpful if you want to include "spouse" as a meaning though. – Waylan Nov 7 '15 at 16:56

"main squeeze". OK, switch to serious. It would be best to pick a term and explicitly state up front that that term means "domestic partner or spouse". Then use the defined term in the rest of the document. The suggested POSSLQ might trip up on the current trend of same-sex marriages. Spouse is a legally defined term, while domestic partner is not (to my knowledge). You could just say that "in this document, "spouse" means spouse or domestic partner". To answer the question, "Partner" is a nice word for this purpose, but you would want to define it as referring to "spouse or domestic partner" up front.

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How about using POSSLQ (/ˈpɒsəlkjuː/ POSS-əl-KYOO, plural POSSLQs)? It is an abbreviation (or acronym) for "Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters," a term coined in the late 1970s by the United States Census Bureau as part of an effort to more accurately gauge the prevalence of cohabitation in American households.

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