The legal challenges which arise from changes in San Diego family lifestyles require significant reflection. A recent study has shown the actual divorce rate for all marriages presently stands near 40%.
One reason: it is very common for millennials and the generations which follow to live together prior to getting married. The Pew Research Institute recently released a study which shows younger adults are choosing to live together and cohabitate instead of traditional marriage. This applies to couples of the opposite sex as well as same-sex relationships.
However, a recent Brookings Institute analysis found that there’s almost a 50% chance that an unplanned child will be born to a cohabiting couple. And according to Pew Research, more than one of every two children born to cohabiting parents will endure a parental breakup by age 9, as opposed to only one-in-five born within a marriage.
There are substantial legal issues for a father in these circumstances under California Family Law.
When a child is born to a couple who are not married the custody rights (decisions regarding where to live, who is allowed to visit the child as well as major decisions concerning healthcare, education and religion reside with entirely with the mother. If an unmarried father wishes to protect his custody rights (decision making) and parenting time (visitation) he must legally assert his rights and seek orders from the Carlsbad Family Law Courts through a paternity action.
It is also interesting to note that a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers shows those who live together prior to marriage are almost five times more likely to divorce.
Generally speaking, it is important to address several legal issues in a Cohabitation Agreement if you do not intend to seek marriage. The agreement should describe how the couple will share or divide mutual property and liabilities including any student loans, as well as issues of financial support if the relationship comes to an end.
Prenuptial agreements protect those with intellectual property, existing business interests or significant wealth if they intend to enter into marriage or cohabitation. Blended families where each spouse brings children and assets to the new union are quite common. It is important to consider how these separate assets and interests will be protected in the event of cohabitation or marriage.
The changes in San Diego family lifestyles require extensive legal expertise. Burke & Domercq, APC’s partners each have decades of experience representing clients from all backgrounds before local family law courts. It is important to give consideration to all aspects of property, finances and children when considering cohabitation. We look forward to helping you to build and protect the life you wish to live.
Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.