Similar to common law marriages, committed intimate relationships honor the importance of long-lasting, committed relationships between unmarried individuals in Washington state. While there is no formal definition for what constitutes a committed intimate relationship, the longer a couple has been together and operated in a married-like way, the greater the likelihood is that a Washington court will view the partnership as a committed intimate relationship. If you are finding yourself facing the dissolution of your relationship and you have questions about your legal rights, the dedicated attorneys at Henderson Taylor Law Firm are prepared to walk you through your options. We can help you understand what to expect from the separation process and make sure you achieve an equitable outcome that will allow you to move forward and into a brighter future.
Defining a Committed Intimate Relationship
When determining whether you and your partner were involved in a committed intimate relationship, the court will ask the following questions:
- Did you live together in the same residence?
- How long did your relationship last?
- Did you pool together your finances and resources?
- Did you make serious decisions together, like purchasing a home, creating wills together, or having children?
- Did you enjoy the benefits of marriage during the course of your relationship, such as companionship, friendship, love, intimacy, and mutual support?
Although not all of these items are needed in order to prove that a committed intimate relationship existed, a court will use these questions to decide how to classify your relationship, which will ultimately affect your options for obtaining a separation.
If a Committed Intimate Relationship is Established
Once the court has determined that you were involved in a committed intimate relationship, the course of your separation will take shape. The division of any property acquired over the course of the relationship will occur, as will the division of any debts incurred. If you have children, the court will seek to implement an equitable child custody arrangement and a fair order of child support, if necessary. However, unlike a divorce, partners who are ending their committed intimate relationship are not eligible to receive spousal support or to share in their partner’s government benefits. To address your specific questions about committed intimate relationships in Washington, contact our firm today.
Learn More Today
The differences between marriages and committed intimate relationships in Washington can quickly become hazy, so we invite you to contact the knowledgeable legal team at Henderson Taylor Law Firm today. For nearly two decades, we have helped our clients receive favorable outcomes and build bright futures. Schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated and effective family law attorneys today to get started.