What happens to the children after a split when you are not married?
The Kardashians always seem to be in the news. While the Kardashians are widely known for their expensive lifestyle and new fashion trends, Kourtney Kardashian was all over the news after her split with Scott Disick. Kourtney and Scott were together for about 9 years and have 3 children (Mason, 6, Penelope, 3, and Reign, 1]). However, while there seems to be no issue with Kourtney keeping the kids, what happens to the children after a split when you are not married?
The concept of a “common law marriage” no longer exists in California. Thus, simply living together does not give rise to a “marriage” or other legal marriage-like union under California law. This means that a non-marital cohabiting relationship does not give rise to “spousal-type” rights, obligations or remedies (except under certain circumstances in an invalid marriage, a “putative spouse” or under a Marvin claim, where non-marital partners have the right to enforce expressed or implied agreements for support or property sharing in the event of a separation).
However, there are certain family statutory rights and obligations that arise regardless of there being a formal marriage. Child support, for example, is a statuary duty to support minor children (and certain adult children) imposed on the parents regardless of them having ever been married. California Family Code § 3900 provides that both the father and mother of a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child. This duty continues until the unmarried child completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 18, whichever occurs first. However, the law does not limit the rights of parents to agree to provide additional support. A child support obligation between non-marital cohabiting parents is enforceable either through a parentage action or other action under the Family Code. Similarly, non-marital cohabiting partners have custody and visitation rights similarly to those formally married.
If you have any questions about child support or child custody, the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri have decades of experience handling complex family law matters. Please contact the Certified Family Law Specialists at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri for further information. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.