If You Want Rights, Get Married!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I received an inquiry from a potential client who had been living with a man in a “marriage like” relationship for more than 20 years.  They had two children and lived in a nice house in Palm Beach Gardens.  From  outside, they appeared to be a happily married couple.  However, the relationship tanked when the “husband” met someone new and asked the “wife” to make “other arrangements”.  She came to me to ask what her rights are.

Unfortunately, the “husband” and the “wife” were not; further, there is no common law marriage in Florida. Additionally, there was no written cohabitation agreement for unmarried people living together long term.  There was no legal obligation for the man to voluntarily continue to support her or children that are over the age of majority.  In short, this woman was you know what.

For those among you who want legal rights, it is best to have a legal marriage.  That legal entity protects a partner from the scenario above.  If marriage is not possible, then a written cohabitation agreement is the only other alternative for protection.  For more information about this or other topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

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