If you never got married and now you’re asking: “What are the implications of this breakup?” The DuBois Levias Law Group is here for you. We answer complicated questions that uniquely impact unmarried couples, and help you divide up your shared life with dignity.
Count on a Law Firm that Knows the State You’re In.
For unmarried couples, Washington is an unusual state with atypical laws. For example, cross out the concept of “common law marriage” and write in “committed intimate relationship.” We know the ins and outs of fair legal separation for any couple dynamic here. If you’re in a long-term situation of any sort, contact legal counsel now to make the best break of it.
You might not have chosen the label of “wife” or “husband,” but there is a designation you could fall under in the State of Washington. It’s called a “Committed Intimate Relationship” (CIR) and it zeroes in on equitable property division for longtime partners. This label applies to couples of any gender or framework, if the relationship checks off set legal criteria.
Protecting Your Assets
In Washington State, couples in CIRs could have their property divided as though it were community property. The law does treat a CIR slightly differently from a marriage, however. Try to seek legal counsel before you terminate a long-term relationship to protect what you acquired together over the course of your cohabitation.
Considering Your Kids
Child custody and child support laws work the same with unmarried couples as they do with their married counterparts. Washington State courts recognize the importance each parent plays in a child’s life regardless of whether or not the parents have entered into a formal relationship.
Legal Separation for Unmarried Couples
Breakups are brutal—even if you didn’t technically get married. That’s likely what you always told each other. That the reason you never got married was because you made a conscious decision not to. Marriage is just a piece of paper, right? Technically yes, but no matter what, now that your once love story is in the process of a massive rewrite, it’s time to assess your breakup from a legal standpoint.