Division of Property for Unmarried Couples
Understanding Property Division Laws in Olathe
"Cohabitation" is the legal term for unmarried couples living
together in a marriage-like relationship. Ordinarily, cohabiting couples
cannot avail themselves of the
divorce statutes when things go wrong. What are they to do with jointly acquired
property, then, when parting ways?
The law provides for legal action for equitable distribution of property under
K.S.A. § 23-2802. Specifically, one member of a cohabiting couple files a petition asking
the court of appropriate jurisdiction to use its "powers of equity"
to equitably divide the parties' jointly acquired assets and liabilities
(debts) between them. Just like in a divorce action, the court has broad
discretion to divide the assets and liabilities as it deems appropriate,
that is, in a "just and equitable" manner.
Equitable Division Laws
Although not obliged to do so, most courts will generally divide things
equally unless provided with a compelling reason to do otherwise. The
same rules apply in "equitable division of property" cases for
unmarried couples. In essence, the law "borrows" from divorce
law on division of property and applies it to the common occurrence of
unmarried, cohabiting couples. In order to understand the law and how
it applies to your specific circumstances, you need to consult an experienced
Olathe divorce lawyer.
What property and debts are subject to division?
property division cases, only those assets and debts which the parties intended to be jointly
acquired are subject to division. This requires that the judge be provided
with admissible evidence that the parties intended that the parties would
jointly acquire the assets and debts. In order to understand what constitutes
admissible evidence and, just as importantly, what evidence will likely
persuade a judge in your favor, you need an experienced attorney by your side.
Does it matter how the property or debts are titled?
As in divorce law, it does not necessarily matter how the property and
debts are titled if there is other evidence that the parties intended
that each party would exercise equal ownership over the property and generally
would be responsible for repaying the debts. Persuasive evidence for such
cases varies from case to case, and there is not necessarily a short answer.
If you have questions, consult an experienced divorce attorney about the
particular facts of your case.
Consult with an Olathe Property Division Attorney
Call the offices of Martin & Wallentine today if you are unmarried,
but want an equitable division of property in a separation. Our legal
team is prepared to help.
Call our firm for a free consultation or complete our
online evaluation so that we can review your case and help you obtain the assets and property