Not all relationships look the same and many couples do not go through the traditional route of marriage. In fact, one of the reasons cited for the lower divorce rates in the US is the fact that some people, particularly millennials, are simply choosing not to get married to their partners. Many people end up with what is called a common law marriage.
Now, we need to point out that officially, common law marriages are not even a thing in Utah. However, people who have been in a long-term relationship may have the option to petition the court to recognize their relationship as a marriage. But what happens when a long-term couple decides to separate and they are not officially married?
Emy A. Cordano is a Salt Lake City divorce attorney who is ready to help you through this often-confusing process. When you need help, call us today.
You Need To Get The Marriage Recognized
Alright, we want to get through this in the least confusing way possible for you so let’s talk about why you are here. If you are on this page, we assume you are separating from a long-term partner but have never been officially married. You probably want to know if you will be entitled to the same things that traditional divorces afford:
- Asset division
- Joint bank and retirement account division
- A share of the partner’s pension benefits
- Alimony payments
- Attorney fee contributions
As we said above, there is no such thing as common law marriage in Utah, but you can petition the court to recognize your past relationship as a marriage and many people file for this petition at the same time they file for a divorce. If one partner can prove to the court that the long-term relationship existed (proof of joint accounts, joint property, joint tax returns, etc.), then they may indeed get the marriage recognized. From there, the divorce would proceed like any other.
If your reason for getting the marriage recognized is for child custody or child support payment purposes, we want you to know that these issues do not need an official marriage to be recognized. Both parents are seen as responsible parties for their children whether or not a marriage existed.
Moving Forward From Here
We know that this is just one more step that can make the divorce process harder. You are already under so much stress and emotion when dealing with a separation, so please seek the help of a skilled Salt Lake City divorce attorney. Emy A. Cordano is ready to step in and get you through this process. She will ensure that you get all the documentation you need and all of the paperwork filled out and filed correctly. In a divorce, particularly one dealing with a common law marriage, you want to have someone by your side who understands all of the issues. You can contact us by clicking here or call us at 801-804-5152 for a legal consultation.