Domestic partnerships could still cause property disputes

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Monday, December 1, 2014.

Unmarried couples who live together can easily run into some trouble if things do not work out. Couples who spend months or years of their lives together may establish many foundations and accrue assets, and if the couple ends up splitting, the joint-life they were living will have to be divided between the two of them. This can often lead to property disputes wherein hostilities increase as couples vie for ownership of their assets.

Usually when unmarried couples split, both parties go their separate ways and continue on with their lives. However, some couples in long-term relationships may choose to take advantage of domestic partnerships, which sometimes afford unmarried couples many of the benefits of marriage, such as health insurance and death benefits. Unfortunately, while there are many similarities and shared benefits between marriage and a domestic partnership, there are still aspects that are not the same.

Though the law varies by state, domestic partnerships are not necessarily treated the same way as marriages when it comes to asset division. Even if you and your significant other were registered domestic partners, you could still find yourself in a property dispute following a breakup. In Missouri, personal property that each party had owned before entering into their domestic relationship remains the property of its original owner. Still, throughout a long-term domestic relationship, couples are likely to accrue many new assets, and ownership of these assets can be difficult to determine.

In cases like these, it may be beneficial for one or both parties meet with an attorney who is familiar with handling unmarried property disputes. Tensions can run very high when it comes to ownership of property, and couples who try to solve the disputes on their own may end up doing something they regret, or even technically and inadvertently stealing the other party’s property. Legal assistance can help you resolve the matter efficiently and without any serious cases of animosity.

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