Committed Intimate Relationships (CIR)

Table of Contents

The Ins & Outs of Committed Intimate Relationships

Even when unmarried, when you’re getting out of a relationship in the state of Washington, you need to look at the legal possibility that you’re in a Committed Intimate Relationship (CIR).

Washington courts sum up a CIR as a “stable, marital-like relationship where both parties cohabit with knowledge that a lawful marriage between them does not exist.” This cannot commence before the pair begins living together. Fair enough, right? And that’s the point. To provide for a fair division of property acquired during a cohabiting relationship.

A judge looks at five criterion derived from case law to determine whether two people were in a CIR. The continuity of cohabitation. The duration of the relationship. The purpose of the relationship. The pooling of resources and services for joint projects. And finally, the intent of the parties involved.

Any way you want to slice it, our family law attorneys are practiced at making the CIR case for you.

Law-Related Research: Purpose of Relationship

It’s hard to nail down the purpose of a relationship, but case precedent sees it as: “companionship, love, sex, mutual support, having a child, raising their daughter, participating in a community to live like a marriage, but without state or religious involvement, to operate like and present themselves to the world as a family, and to share the joys and responsibility of parenting.”


(Fenn v. Lockwood)

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.