Updated: May 2
One of the most frequently asked questions by my clients in family matters is the one related to common-law couples or common law marriages, and what is their treatment in the state of Florida. The population of South Florida, where the firm is located, is mainly native to many Latin American countries, where marriages and domestic partners are recognized, so there is a conception that these marriages will in fact be protected in Florida.
Unfortunately, Florida does not recognize common law marriage. In fact, there are very few states in the United States that recognize an informal marriage union, and Florida is not one of them.
This means that, if you are in a relationship with your partner, without having formalized your marriage; it is understood by this to obtain a license to marry and celebrate the nuptials, your relationship will not have the protections that are conferred on a formalized marriage.
Domestic partners do not have the right to request alimony from the other party in the event of a separation, no matter how long they have been together. There will also be no division of assets in the event of separation. If you and your domestic partner acquired common property, they will be governed by the rules of joint ownership. If one of the parties has invested in the business of the other, this investment cannot be divided at the time of the separation. For these cases, there may be other legal procedures, such as the demand for unjust enrichment. In the event that one of the parties to the couple dies, the other will not have any hereditary right, if there is no will that designates it as such. Likewise, if the couple had children in common without marrying, the process to acquire alimony must be preceded by a request to establish paternity, regardless of whether the father recognized the minor at the time of birth. Unmarried couples will also not be able to benefit from the regulations that exist on immigration or taxes for formalized marriages.
Among the benefits of maintaining a domestic partnership, instead of formalizing the marriage is the ease with which the relationship can end. If the relationship ends, there is no need to go through the cumbersome divorce process. Each part of the relationship could continue with his life, without having to go to court.
The decision to formalize or not their relationship and turn it into a marriage is very personal for the couple. As a lawyer, I always recommend getting married, in order to enjoy the protections that the state grants to couples.
If you are separating and are part of a domestic partnership, call us today to advise you of your rights. At Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. we work family cases. The first consultation is free. Here, your problem is our problem.
Legal Disclaimer Any information made available by the lawyer or law firm is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and general understanding of the law, NOT to provide specific advice. This does NOT create a relationship attorney-client between you and Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. This information should NOT be use as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.