Individuals living together but are not married are often known as common-law couples or common-law relationships or live in common-law.
When these parties separate, they have several options and approaches they can use to resolve their outstanding issues, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, collaborative family law, or proceeding to court.
If these couples can reach a resolution out of court, then their agreement is reduced to what is termed as a separation agreement. However, if the matter remains in court, a court order is obtained.
Separation agreements often include the terms of the final agreement between the parties regarding child custody and access, parenting arrangements, child and spousal support and other financial matters.
These agreements are reviewed and all the terms contained in them must be mutually agreed upon by both parties prior to the agreement being finalized or executed. The main purpose of these domestic contracts is to clearly set out each party’s respective rights and obligations upon separation and going forward.
Most couples who lived as a part of a common-law relationship or individuals who had a child or children together but never married are often surprised to learn that the separation agreement is not limited to parties who are married, and such contracts can be entered into by common-law partners as well.
Any family law issue, whether the individuals were married or not, can be resolved by way of a separation agreement.
Negotiating a separation agreement is a viable option for common-law couples who are not married. Although the language of the agreement between common-law parties will be slightly different from married parties, a huge part of the contract is the same since its main purpose is to clearly set out how the parties intend to resolve the immediate issues and how they will proceed on crucial matters such as parenting and support.
If you want to learn more about separation options for common-law couples in California, contact Payam Mark Shayani at Pacific Attorney Group. Mr. Shayani is a qualified attorney with decades of experience in family law.