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Skillfully Crafting Nonmarital Agreements

When two people involved in a nonmarital relationship acquire property during the relationship and then split up, certain legal issues can arise. If the property was all titled in one of the partner’s names, does the other partner have any rights to it? The answer depends on the nature of any agreement that governed the parties’ relationship. For example, one party may agree to do all the household work and forgo a professional career in exchange for the other partner agreeing to provide the financial support for the household. In that situation, the stay-at-home partner may have a claim against the other partner, even if all the property is titled in the other partner’s name.

At Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, we can assist individuals in nonmarital relationships in drafting agreements that protect their rights and, where such an agreement has been formed, in enforcing their rights. Even where there is no agreement between the parties, legal action may be available to protect a person’s economic rights.  Frequently, parties involved in a relationship will have jointly titled assets such as their common home. In such a case, a partition action can be filed to divide jointly held property between the parties.

Protecting Your Economic Rights And Assets

Individuals involved in nonmarital relationships need to know that the law does not afford them the same economic rights as it does for persons who are legally married. For example, even if all of the property a couple acquired during their marriage was titled in one spouse’s name, the other spouse will generally have economic rights to that property in the event of divorce. For unmarried partners in a similar situation, the outcome may be quite different. If all the assets are titled in one partner’s name, it can be very difficult for the other partner to receive a share of the assets if and when the relationship ends.

To navigate such pitfalls, you should consult a family law attorney experienced in these matters. At Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC, we advise individuals in nonmarital relationships to handle their assets in a way that best protects their economic rights.

Let Us Advise You, Please Call Us Now

We can help you determine whether it is advisable to title assets in both partners’ names. Should a relationship end, we can assist our clients in pursuing appropriate legal action to help them obtain, if possible, their fair share of the property acquired during the relationship. Sorting out these issues can be very complex, and you will need an experienced family law attorney on your side. At Shay, Santee, Kelhart & Deschler LLC in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, we stand ready to help. Contact us online or call 610-295-5328 for a consultation today.