Unmarried couples not recognized by courts

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Unmarried Couples on Monday, May 20, 2013.

Illinois residents might be interested to hear that unmarried couples are not recognized by courts when they split up, or, essentially, ‘get a divorce” like married couples do. Studies show that nearly half of the adults in the U.S. in their 30s and 40s have lived together with their significant others even though they weren’t married. However, when it comes to finances, the law does not recognize relationships that aren’t documented on paper, which can leave unmarried couples in a bind if they do decide to split.

Experts say that since unmarried couples do not have the same protections and advantages that married couples do, it is best for them to take certain precautions financially for just in case they ever do decide to split. For example, if live-in couples decide to buy a house together, experts advise that both parties have their names placed on the deed. The law does not recognize any verbal agreements the couple may have made, such as who was in charge of paying the mortgage. Rather, the person who is named on the legal document as the owner of the house is who the court will rule in favor of. Unmarried couples also have to consider issues such as child custody, health care, emergency situations and other issues if they split up.

Additionally, experts advise unmarried couples to prepare wills. When one spouse in a married couple dies, the other spouse is not left high and dry because of the couple’s marriage certificate. However, without a marriage certificate, the law doesn’t make provisions for the remaining person, but a will can.

Family law lawyers may be able to assist unmarried couples in taking the precautions they may need later on in the event that they do decided to part ways, such as drafting wills and other vital documents. Likewise, the lawyers may be able to help unmarried couples negotiate issues such as child custody and division of property.

Source: MSN Money, “Moving in together? 5 tips“, May 08, 2013