What is a meretricious relationship? While many couples will split up between their first and second year, others will live together for years or even decades without marriage.
If both parties can not agree or do not believe in the traditions of marriage, they might still be regarded under the law as in a meretricious relationship (definitions and terminology vary depending upon the state of residence).
Here is everything to know about whether or not your last relationship could be considered to be meretricious.
What Is a Meretricious Relationship?
Some people live together for years without getting married. As our society’s concepts of relationships, marriage, and commitment change, we need laws to accommodate our lives and recognize the bonds we make. Without having been married by the state, two people can typically still be considered married in many legal situations.
This is when a relationship is called a meretricious relationship, or a similar term, and considered a legal entity by the state.
Not every state recognizes this situation by the term meretricious. Some states call it something different like a “cohabitation” agreement.
If you have never been married but live with a partner and share intimate moments of your life, property, and finances, with them, you’re probably in a meretricious relationship.
Defining Your Relationship Is Tricky
Many factors determine whether or not you are in a meretricious relationship and they can feel relatively nebulous.
One item that demonstrates a marriage-like relationship is simply the length of your commitment. If you’ve got documentation that can show when you started dating or living together, you will be able to prove this should your claim to assets or support ever come into question.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…
If a court of law can find that you and a former partner had a meretricious relationship, then any property related to the relationship could be split if desired (or if contested).
These things could include but are not limited to your actual money, assets, your home, and any vehicles you drive. They could even include child custody.
So What Do You Do Now?
We are not here to give you relationship advice. However, we can help you and your significant other to set up your estate and family protection plans to take into account the nature of your partnership. Whether you choose not to wed by choice, or you have not been allowed to due to the laws where you live, we know how to prepare you, financially and legally, for the stresses and challenges to come.
Do not let the nature of your relationship be the reason you do not reach out for help in planning your future together! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.