It’s not uncommon for couples to live together, have children and share a household without going through the formalities of marriage. But when an unmarried couple decides to split, this can cause some legal challenges. While technically divorce is for couples who are legally married, those who build a life together without the marriage certificate can still have many of the same issues once they decide to part ways.
Challenges of splitting up when not legally married
In some circumstances, a breakup between people not legally married can be easier. This is especially true if the couple doesn’t have shared assets or minor children. But when a couple owns property together and must negotiate a custody arrangement, there are many of the same concerns that come up during the dissolution of a marriage. The legalities of splitting assets and negotiating childcare agreements can vary depending on the circumstances.
Joint property bought during the relationship can cause some legal challenges during asset division. Deciding on child custody and support can also be difficult after a breakup. Unlike marriage, in most cases, neither party is entitled to alimony after the split. However, if a couple makes a legally binding agreement during the relationship, alimony may be ordered by the court.
Seek legal advice
When a couple decides to end a relationship, there are always challenges. In a traditional marriage, most states have very specific laws to be followed. But when a couple isn’t legally married, it can be very challenging to divide assets, arrange child custody, and deal with other post-breakup concerns. Some Maryland couples may be able to work things out on their own. But when it gets complicated, it’s always helpful to seek the legal advice of an attorney with experience in family law.