Unmarried Couples in Rhode Island
Representing Complex Family Law Cases
When two people separate who have never been legally married, it can bring about a variety of issues and problems that are best handled by a competent Rhode Island family law attorney. Our firm is compassionate about the matters you are dealing with and we are prepared to use our experience and resources to your advantage. At McIntyre Tate LLP, we have more than 150 years of combined experience representing a wide range of complex family law and divorce cases, including those involving unmarried couples.
Rhode Island Unmarried Couples & Their Rights
Rhode Island law has never permitted an unrelated co-habitant to acquire a legal or equitable interest in the accumulations, income, or property of a fellow co-habitant merely as a result of the existence of an intimate relationship. Neither the Rhode Island General Assembly nor the Rhode Island Supreme Court has ever recognized a "quasi-marital" relationship.
Thus individuals who are engaged in a "meretricious" relationship have never been permitted, solely by virtue of their involvement in such a relationship, to gain an equitable or legal right to a fellow cohabitant's property. Similarly, Rhode Island has not recognized "palimony" actions.
- Accordingly, in Rhode Island a paramour can only obtain an interest in property of a cohabitant when:
- The couple clearly intended to enter a common law marriage by virtue of their cohabitation (and thus they are treated as "married").
- The couple entered a formal agreement giving rise to enforcement under contract law (i.e. for specific services such as homemaking).
- There are sufficient facts to support a claim of unjust enrichment.
Our firm offers the representation and guidance of the following unmarried situations:
- Cohabitation agreements
- Paternity or parentage cases
- Committed intimate relationships
- Domestic partnerships
- Older couples
- Same-sex couples
Contact us online at (401) 351-7700 to speak with one of our a Rhode Island family law attorneys.