While a prenuptial agreement can reflect a couple’s own decisions about property division and spousal support if the marriage dissolves, people who live together without marrying have little or no legal protection if one person dies or they decide to go their separate ways. Unmarried couples who live together, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, should know that there are planning alternatives that offer them similar protections. Additionally, same-sex couples who are married should understand the recent changes in the law and how they will impact their situation.
At Lasiter & Jackson, our family law attorneys have more than 36 years of combined experience in helping clients maximize their protections under Arizona law. We pay close attention to changes in Arizona marriage law and can help you understand how these changes affect you. We believe strongly that every couple should take advantage of the legal protections available to them.
Our dedicated family law firm offers a wide range of legal services for unmarried, cohabiting couples, including:
Without the protection of Arizona family law, partners often need to resort to complex and expensive litigation in civil court to sort out their property and other interests. While the 50-50 split on marital property does not apply to unmarried couples, there are other options to prevent potential and expensive legal problems down the road.
People who prefer not to marry stand to benefit significantly from a domestic partnership agreement. Domestic partnership agreements can define who will pay bills, determine what will happen to joint property (such as a home) if you ever separate, and specify how you and your partner will handle future disputes.
A successful domestic partnership arrangement may also include estate planning documents such as powers of attorney, advance health care directives and wills. Our lawyers have experience in all of these areas. We are dedicated to providing you with the protections you are entitled to under the law.
Arizona law currently provides little protection for unmarried gay and lesbian parents who are not the biological parents of their child, or for unmarried fathers who have not legally established paternity. However, you and your partner can set up a co-parenting agreement to clarify your rights and responsibilities with your children — both today and should you ever separate. In addition, our firm also gives advice to ensure the enforceability of such agreements.
If you do not have a domestic partnership agreement and you face dividing your property, you may be able to bring a partition action in court. Partition actions allow cohabiting couples who have lived with each other for a number of years to ask the court to divide their property.
To save time, money and stress, talk to our experienced attorneys. Contact Lasiter & Jackson, in Phoenix, Arizona, today.