According the Census.gov, the number of unmarried people living together has tripled since 2000 to nearly 17 million people. Breaking up is never easy, and for unmarried couples in Florida, the challenges can be unique and complicated. When you have been in a long-term relationship without the legal bonds of marriage, splitting up involves more than just emotional distress.
There are practical and legal aspects to consider, which can be complex in the absence of marriage laws to guide the process.
One of the biggest challenges you face is dividing property. Without marriage, there is no legal presumption of shared property. This means you need to establish ownership of each asset. If you purchased property together, determining who gets what can be difficult, especially if both names are on the deed or lease.
Another challenge is financial support. In a marriage, laws govern alimony, but in your case, there is no legal obligation for one partner to support the other financially after a breakup. This can be particularly tough if one of you was financially dependent on the other.
Child custody and support
If you have children together, deciding on custody and child support becomes a major issue. Florida law focuses on the best interests of the child, but without the legal framework of marriage, you might find it more challenging to navigate these waters. Agreeing on who gets primary custody, visitation rights, and child support amounts can be contentious.
Joint investments and debts
Joint investments and debts are another area of concern. You may have made investments together or incurred joint debts. Figuring out how to divide these equitably can be a complex process, particularly if there are no formal agreements in place.
Beyond these practical issues, the emotional challenges of a breakup are significant. You may have spent years building a life together, and untangling this can be emotionally taxing.
Breaking up as an unmarried couple in Florida presents unique challenges. Navigating these challenges requires clear communication, mutual respect and sometimes, negotiation to reach a fair agreement. Remember, while the process is difficult, it is possible to emerge with a clear path forward for both parties.