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Legal News in Minnesota

Child Custody Disputes for Cohabitating Parents

Southern Minnesota Family Law Attorneys

Are you going through a difficult time after you broke up with your significant other? If this is the parent of your child(ren), then you are definitely feeling the loss. In our society, many adults are hard-pressed to keep their home lives stable, especially when there are unforeseen changes in the economy, workplace injuries, or other financial setbacks. When you’re alone while trying to resolve child custody disputes, albeit married or cohabitating, you need legal help ASAP. How else will you ensure your child’s well-being?

Feeling Isolated After Separating From Your Partner?

In part, you feel isolated because breaking up a household with children is emotional. You may be feeling greater anxiety and stress, and the financial pressures won’t go away in the near future. You are transitioning from a two-person household to a one-person household and losing all the supports that were inherent in the family unit. If you were cohabitating, you may not have clear legal answers, but you still need to ensure support for your child.

We live in a country where cohabitation is not recognized in many states. Couples who live together have more legal protections when they get married because there is an enforceable contract supported by a long-held institution. Furthermore, social views on cohabitation vary as well as the level of commitment between the partners.

The decision to move in together also impacts your children. A recent Institute for Family Studies brief found cohabitation is less stable than marriage for the children living in 11 countries. One reason is the finding that, in general, parents raising kids together don’t rate their relationship as very important in their lives on a par with married parents. Now, at the end of this relationship, you need to get through the immediate obstacles, but consider the social and economic impacts on your kids as you reconfigure your household without a partner.

The Background on Cohabitation

We live in America where our citizens have many liberties. If you moved in together and created legal agreements and/or put joint names on household accounts, you might feel more confident about defending your rights. When there are children in the mix, it gets more complicated. Here are some reasons you might need assistance from a Minnesota family law attorney:

  • Disagreements over who will pay the bills in the current home
  • Disagreements over who will provide for the children’s many needs
  • Child custody disputes
  • Disagreements over who will stay in the residence and who will establish a separate home
  • Liquidation of joint property and debts
  • How to support yourself without a partner

While child custody disputes are related to your economic needs, you may not be entitled to spousal support if you weren’t married. That’s the risk you took when you moved in together unless you entered into a legal agreement. For example, you may have lived with your partner and purchased a home together. That is a separate issue from resolving child custody matters.

Don’t Act Hastily

If you’re considering separation and you and your partner cannot come to temporary arrangements for the children’s best interest, please take your time! A family law attorney collects the details of your situation, including financial obligations shared with your partner or covered by your partner. This information and other verifiable facts help an attorney recommend the best course of action when your cohabitation ends.

A child custody attorney also gathers information about who was caring for the children, what their expenses were, how much each partner was contributing, and other evidence. If you speak to a qualified attorney specializing in child custody issues, you can explore your rights under Minnesota law and then take steps in your children’s best interest. Finally, what a court decides in these matters isn’t always equitable to both parents.

Contact us today. With a lawyer’s help, you can increase your chances of getting the best outcome in our courts.