The term "cohabitation" refers to
people who are living together without being married. Couples
of different or the same sex can cohabitate, as well a group
of people can cohabitate, but the term is most often used
to refer to people who have an intimate relationship.
Cohabitation Termination Present Issues
Under Wisconsin law, cohabitation is not a
recognized marriage, regardless of the duration or nature
of the relationship. Wisconsin does not recognize common
law marriage nor any type of relationship
between people other than marriage. For that reason, cohabitants
cannot terminate their relationship through the normal termination
of a marriage process, rather, they must rely upon Wisconsin's contract and other laws that govern the termination of a relationship, divide property, and provide maintenance.
Cohabitation & Children
If a child was born at any time prior to,
during, or after the relationship, and the adult partners
are that child's biological parents, then Wisconsin paternity
and support laws apply. Cohabitants cannot rely upon family
maintenance rules to ask a court to set maintenance for
either parent, regardless of which parent has custody of
the child. And if the couple had no children, maintenance
is usually not within reach under Wisconsin law.
Property Rights Of People Living Together
For cohabitation relationships, termination
of those relationships, division of property acquired during
the relationship, and support and maintenance issues, Attorney
Kathy Reiley has fast become the 'go to' person for lawyers
and non-lawyers alike. For several years, Attorney Reiley
has handled cohabitation dispute resolution and mediation,
which are the usual methods for resolving the issues that
arise for partners terminating their relationships.
Resolving Disputes Between Cohabitants
Let's face it, Wisconsin law will not protect
a cohabitant as a marriage partner, and spending a ton of
money arguing about property and children will only run
up bills on both sides. It is much easier on all parties
involved and the checkbooks of those parties to agree that
they must agree, and that is a starting point from which
the rest of the issues can be handled.
If you are in a cohabitating relationship
that is coming to end, please call Attorney Kathleen Reiley
(608-246-8309) or send Kathleen Reiley an email to set up a confidential
meeting to discuss your options.
Dispute Resolution | Mediation | Wisconsin
Kathleen Reiley | Family