The Economic Rights and Responsibilities of Unmarried Cohabitants
Margaret M. Mahoney
University of Pittsburgh
JUST LIVING TOGETHER: IMPLICATIONS OF COHABITATION ON FAMILIES, CHILDREN AND SOCIAL POLICY, Alan Booth, Ann C. Crouter, eds., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002
University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper Series
This chapter appears in an interdisciplinary volume that describes the relationships of unmarried couples. The focus in this chapter is on some of the financial rights and responsibilities imposed by state laws upon unmarried partners. It explores the current state of the law regarding several important financial issues that arise between members of the nontraditional family headed by an unmarried cohabiting heterosexual couple: the child support obligations of the unmarried partners to their children, the economic rights of the partners when they dissolve their relationship, and the rights of the surviving partner and children following the death of one partner. As to each topic discussed, the current rules are analyzed in terms of the various policy goals of the state that operate in the field of family law.
Keywords: unmarried couples, cohabitation, economic rights, inheritance
Date posted: June 2, 2009 ; Last revised: April 4, 2010