Committed Intimate Relationships

Unmarried Couples & Washington Family Law

Unmarried couples encounter many of the same issues experienced by divorcing married couples when they decide to end a relationship. For the unmarried couple, division of assets and debts and the determination of child custody are the most common legal issues that require resolution in the courts. In the State of Washington, laws exist and a variety of legal methods may be used to address issues that unmarried couples encounter. If you are in a long-term, committed relationship, we can help you with the following legal matters:

Cohabitation Agreements

Unmarried couples can use co-habitation agreements to establish property rights, govern acquisition of property during the term of the relationship, and determine responsibility for debt. Cohabitation agreements can address a variety of issues and are designed to help avoid litigation if one or both parties decide to terminate their relationship.

Committed Intimate Relationships

Washington courts have referred to marriage-like relationships as “Committed Intimate Relationships” and have developed case law to address the division of property when an unmarried couple ends their relationship. The law, established by the applicable line of cases, applies to property acquired during the course of the couple’s relationship. If you are in the process of terminating a long-term, committed relationship, I can help you determine your rights with respect to property that your partner may have an interest in.

Paternity or Parentage Cases

Washington’s parentage statutes provide a method for establishing parentage for children who are born to unmarried couples. The parentage statutes may also be used to establish a parenting plan for children whose parents are not married. The courts in Washington may also apply common law to establish “de facto” parentage, which provides a means for someone who has fulfilled a parental role in the life of a child to establish a parent-child relationship even if there is no biological or adoptive relationship with the child.

If you are in a committed intimate relationship and need legal assistance with a related issue, contact us today for a free consultation.

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