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What Legal Rights Do Stay-at-Home Girlfriends Have?


A marriage certificate is not what defines a family.  Unmarried couples have acted as family units throughout much of human history, and some jurisdictions, although not Florida, even recognize common law marriage.  Some couples even choose not to get legally married simply because their own parents’ experiences have shown them how ugly divorce can be.  Meanwhile, they share financial and non-financial household responsibilities, care for each other’s parents, and in some cases, even have children together.  Of course, breaking up a long-term relationship where the parties shared financial responsibilities can be as ugly and painful as a divorce.  Recently, some “stay at home girlfriends” have taken to Tik Tok to stage videos of their apparently glamorous lives, but what they don’t tell you is that the emotional and financial pain of breaking up with your live-in partner is just as bad even if you were not legally married.  If you and your partner have minor children together, though, child support laws still apply.  Getting a child support order is the first step to rebuilding your life as a single parent after a breakup.  For help requesting child support and working out a parenting plan with your ex-partner, contact a Boca Raton child support lawyer.

You Can Get Child Support, but You Will Probably Have to Reenter the Workforce

All children whose parents do not live together are entitled to a court-ordered parenting plan that guarantees that they get to spend a certain number of days per year with each parent, regardless of whether the parents were ever married to each other.  The court then uses the parenting plan as a basis for calculating child support; it accounts for each parent’s income and each parent’s number of parenting time days.

Hiring a lawyer is not mandatory when you are working on a parenting plan, but attending mediation is.  If you and your ex-partner have a high conflict relationship, it is best to hire a lawyer, whether or not your parenting plan case goes to trial.  When determining child support, the judge has the right to impute income to you or to your ex.  Imputed income is the amount that the court determines that you are capable of earning if you are voluntarily unemployed.  Many stay-at-home parents, whether or not they were ever married, have had to return to the workforce because the court only awarded them enough child support to cover a portion of the bills, and the rest needed to come from employment income.

Equitable Distribution Laws Only Apply to Legally Married Couples

Property division is where being a former stay at home girlfriend truly becomes unglamorous.  The amount of housework you did in your ex’s house counts for nothing if you weren’t married, and neither does the inherited wealth you contributed toward household bills.  The court recognizes the contributions of stay-at-home wives, but not stay-at-home girlfriends.

Contact Schwartz | White About Co-Parenting With Your Ex-Boyfriend

A South Florida family law attorney can help you arrive at a reasonable parenting plan even if you were never married to your children’s father.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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