The longer a couple has lived together, the more "things" they typically acquire. For instance, a couple may pool their money to buy a home, or a car, or a houseful of furniture. They may have a joint bank account, or mutual investments. How are these things divided if and when the relationship ends? And what happens if the parties can’t agree on a division?
There is no "common law marriage" in
Spousal Maintenance is a statutory right that is afforded only to a married person in
When people have children together and then separate, they may still end up in court over the issues of custody, parenting time, and child support. The court will make custody and parenting time decisions based on the best interests of the children regardless of whether or not the parents are married. Child support decisions will be made based on the parents’ incomes and the needs of the children, pursuant to the Arizona Child Support Guidelines. Whether the parents were ever married is not a factor.
If the parents are not married and the father is not on the child’s birth certificate, then before being given the rights of a parent, the father will have to take the extra step of obtaining a paternity order. Only then can he ask the court for an order spelling out his custody and parenting time rights.
There are valid reasons for deciding to marry, or live together without marrying. However, given the fact that this is an important decision with long-term consequences, it would be a good idea to consider the legal ramifications before making a final decision.
Gary Frank has practiced Family Law in