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Family Law For Committed Intimate Relationships (CIRs)

The state of Washington does not recognize common-law marriage but does recognize committed intimate relationships (CIRs). For either traditional or same-sex couples, a designation of a CIR means that each member of the couple has certain rights upon separation regarding property and children. At Hansen Law, we have the knowledge and experience to help clients in CIRs with their family law needs.

Relationship Criteria

For a couple to qualify as being in a CIR, they must live together for at least two years and demonstrate their commitment through ways such as:

  • Telling others that they are a committed couple
  • Making shared financial decisions such as having jointly owned property and banking accounts
  • Having written documents (such as wills) that name each other as significant other

If you and your partner in a CIR separate and do not have your own agreement regarding the division of assets and child support, the court will make these decisions.

Asset Division, Child Custody And Support

Jointly owned property, assets and debts acquired during the relationship get divided by the court under the provision of equitable distribution. If there are minor children from the CIR and the couple does not come to an agreement about child custody and support on their own, the court will make determinations on these matters.

Proactive Planning

There is a way that you both can protect your best interests in the event of separation by writing a cohabitation agreement with an attorney. This agreement would designate how you and your partner manage assets and debts in the relationship. This includes what stake each partner has in property and assets and how they would get divided in the event of a dissolution of the relationship.

Contact Us To Learn More

At Hansen Law, we are committed to helping your CIR have legal protections in place so that there are no surprises in the event you separate. Find out more about the services we have to offer by calling 509-388-0160 or contacting us online to arrange a initial consultation.