Unmarried couples encounter many of the same issues experienced by divorcing married couples when they decide to end a relationship. For the unmarried couple, division of assets and debts and the determination of child custody are the most common legal issues that require resolution in the courts. In the State of Washington, laws exist and a variety of legal methods may be used to address issues that unmarried couples encounter.
Unmarried couples can use cohabitation agreements to establish property rights, govern acquisition of property during the term of the relationship, and determine responsibility for debt. Cohabitation agreements can address a variety of issues and are designed to help avoid litigation if one or both parties decide to terminate their relationship.