Spokane Unmarried Couples Lawyer
It may be beneficial to consult with an informed Spokane unmarried couples lawyer if you are in a dedicated relationship but are not legally married. There may be legal rights and obligations that you should typically know about. A Spokane unmarried couples attorney could help you protect your rights by examining special laws and regulations that may apply to unmarried couples.
The laws that could involve unmarried couples can be complicated. There often are parallels between divorce law for married couples and the law regarding the termination of a relationship between unmarried couples. A passionate family attorney could provide guidance to assist you with your legal needs.
Long-Term Unmarried Couples in Spokane
A common law marriage may apply when a couple lives together and conducts themselves as if they are married without having entered a legal marriage. After a statutory period living in this manner, some states recognize the union as a legal partnership. However, Spokane courts do not typically recognize common law marriages. Additionally, there are generally no statutes for property division or spousal support when unmarried individuals decide to part ways, regardless of how long they have been together.
However, there is case law that may allow an unmarried couple to divide assets and debts when the union ends. This cause of action is commonly called a committed intimate relationship and was formerly known as a meretricious relationship. In a nutshell, the couple typically must act as though they were married with the knowledge that they are not. The courts frequently maintain that if you financially behave as though you are married, it is fair to allow you to divide assets and debts in a similar way as a married couple would upon separation.
Potential Rights of Unmarried Couples With Children
Unmarried heterosexual couples with biological children and unmarried same-sex couples who have a biological child using surrogacy methods typically are subject to the state’s parenting statutes. Courts often have jurisdiction to grant custody, visitation, and award child support in both circumstances.
There are times when a court may grant visitation rights to people who have acted in the role of a parent but is not the adoptive or biological parent. This may occur with some frequency in same-sex relationships when there is no biological or adoptive link between a parent and child. This cause of action is known as de facto parentage and may also be relatively complex because of the level of evidence that typically must be presented to succeed in court.
A child born during a marriage or a domestic partnership is typically presumed to be the biological child of the couple. This presumption may be challenged by requesting a paternity test through the court or by filing a paternity acknowledgment.
A paternity acknowledgment may regard a form signed by the mother and the man who claims to be the biological father. The acknowledgment helps substantiate a legal parent-child relationship between the parties.
Unmarried couples generally have no such presumption. If the father has not acknowledged paternity, he may lose the opportunity to protect his rights as a father. Likewise, a mother may not be able to get financial support for her children without a legal recognition of the father’s identity. In such cases, it could be necessary to file a paternity action and it may be required to perform a DNA test to establish potential rights and obligations. A Spokane unmarried couples lawyer could help an individual file a paternity action.
Consulting a Spokane Unmarried Couples Attorney
Unmarried couples who are in a committed relationship often have many of the same concerns as married couples. Parents who are not legally married generally still have rights and duties to their children. Same-sex couples and heterosexual couples may need to consult with an experienced Spokane unmarried couples lawyer to understand the law and how it could apply to their family. Schedule an appointment today.