Non-Marital Relationship Dissolution

Some couples choose not to enter into a marriage or legally recognized domestic partnership but choose to enter into a cohabitation agreement instead. Oftentimes, these agreements are made orally and difficult to enforce after the relationship has ended. Once the relationships end there can be disagreements and issues presented that are similar to those in a traditional divorce or separation. Problems often arise between the individuals about how assets will be divided and how support will be agreed upon.

Under California law, both marriages and domestic partnerships are governed by the family code. Unfortunately, partners who are cohabitating and have not entered into any state recognized union do not have the same legal rights as married couples and domestic partners do. Though there is no statutory allowance for support in a cohabitation situation, there are cases that present the possibility that an unmarried individual can still be awarded property and financial support from his or her former partner after their relationship ends, assuming the relationship meets certain criteria.

Cohabitation agreements present interesting a unique legal questions. It is not uncommon for a cohabitating couple to have split after years or decades of being together. During that time, each party unequivocally contributed to the household and financial planning. Many times the differences between the cohabitation agreement and a marriage are hard to find. In certain situations, a court may find the parties are not relived of their financial responsibility solely because of the legal title of their relationship. If you believe you are entitled to more than you were given at the end of your non-marital relationship, please contact our office today to set up a consultation.

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