How does the law treat unmarried couples?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Thursday, August 14, 2014.

For one reason or another, you and your significant other may decide that marriage is not right for you. This is a fairly common occurrence, wherein couples live together but don’t officially marry. Of course, if unmarried couples split up, they cannot divorce. This can make the separation easier in many ways, but it can also lead to difficult situations such as property disputes.

You can find all the information you need from FindLaw, but the short answer is that while there are important differences, the law in many ways treats domestic partnerships very similarly to how it treats marriages. Courts can divide assets, wherein property acquired before the partnership is considered separate property, but all property acquired during the domestic partnership is subject to division. Courts will take many factors into account when decided who gets what in such an instance, such as the nature of the property and how long the domestic partnership lasted.

There is also a domestic partnership facet that is similar to child support. It is called maintenance, and it is a court-determined financial support that one member of the partnership will pay to the other. Not all states have the same laws, so Missouri residents may wish to seek legal assistance in Missouri to guide them through their state-specific issues.

Ultimately, you will have a similar experience in ending a domestic partnership that you would in ending a marriage, but it can be more complicated because domestic partnerships can be harder to judge than marriages. The extent to which each partner contributed, for example, could be difficult to determine and thus greater care must be taken to ensure that property division and maintenance are fair to both parties.

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