Photo of Professionals at Weinberg, Kaplan & Smith, P.A.
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Child custody decisions after a cohabitation relationship ends

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Custody

It used to be relatively uncommon for couples to live together before marriage. Even in 2002, for example, 60% of couples polled had ever been married, while only 54% had ever cohabitated. If you continue through the decades, you’ll find a similar trend, with cohabitation becoming less common.

In recent years, cohabitation has overtaken and surpassed marriage. A recent study found that 59% of people have ever cohabitated, but just 50% have been married. The study’s participants were between 18 and 44 years old.

This can create complex family dynamics

When a cohabitation relationship falls apart, things can get complicated. This is especially true for those who have children together.

For instance, a couple that splits up may want to set up a child custody arrangement so that they can both spend time with the child. They may have many questions about who decides where the child goes to school or what healthcare decisions are made for the child.

Lawyers would address this in the child custody arrangement created during a divorce. However, if the couple is never married, they don’t go through the divorce process to end the relationship. However, they may still need to go to court to handle some of these custody questions moving forward.

The child’schild’snterests

While working through this process, parents should remember that their children’s interests are supposed to come first. They also need to carefully consider the legal steps they can take to protect their parental rights and maintain a relationship with the child.