Many couples live together for a long time, accumulate property, and even have children, all without getting married. While this isn’t all that unusual, there are a number of misconceptions revolving around these situations and what it means when the couple separates. If you are unmarried but separating from a long-term partner, an experienced family law attorney can help you understand your rights.
What is Common Law Marriage?
This is an old concept whereby a couple can become “married” simply by living together long-term and holding themselves out as a married couple. This can include doing things such as telling people they are married, holding property as a married couple, and having children. Although the couple is not legally married, the couple would be treated the same as any other married couple under common law marriage doctrine.
Is There Common Law Marriage in Washington State?
A few states