Under common law, when partners choose to move in together, whether they are in a traditional heterosexual relationship or a same-sex relationship, there can be serious legal implications concerning their legal status by virtue of their cohabitation. Specifically, some states have characterized this arrangement as creating a domestic partnership or common law marriage.
Depending on your state, this may impose certain personal and real property ownership rights, and if there were children resulting from the relationship, parental and custodial rights as well.
In either case, before couples choose to move in together they should confer with a lawyer. As a safeguard, at a bare minimum, you should consider entering into a written common law partnership agreement.
Common Law Partner Agreements Are Available Online:« Back to Glossary Index