With all the emphasis in the news about celebrity divorces and increases in the divorce rate, people who choose not to marry, are not yet married, or are not able to marry tend to get lost in the shuffle. Yet unmarried partner issues are no less real or important than those of married individuals. These issues include:
These are all crucial questions that should be handled with the help of a Chandler unmarried partner attorney who understands these issues and truly cares.
The challenges of unmarried partner dissolutions
Being unmarried and having family difficulties complicates matters in ways you might not imagine until you are personally involved and in the midst of trouble. For example, you don’t have the benefit of a marriage certificate to help assert your legal rights. You may have the benefit of an unmarried partnership agreement, but unfortunately documents such as this are highly underused.
The mere fact that you are unmarried means that if any child custody, parenting time, or child support issues come up, you must first establish paternity. This may sound absurd, but unless the parents were married at the time of the child’s birth, or 10 months either way, Arizona law does not presume that paternity resides with the man with whom the mother is having a relationship. A man can voluntarily agree that he is the child’s father, such as by signing a document at the hospital when the baby is born or at some point later, to be included on the birth certificate. But if he refuses or there is a question, then you must convince a court to order DNA testing to determine the identity of the biological father.