Nonmarital Cohabitants: The US Approach

19 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2021

See all articles by Naomi Cahn

Naomi Cahn

University of Virginia School of Law

Barbara Atwood

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: July 6, 2021

Abstract

This article reviews the legal status of nonmarital cohabitation in the United States. The recognition of cohabitants’ claims in the United States has occurred largely through the common law, and the article provides an overview of the patchwork of legal approaches. It shows the continuum of approaches, from states that refuse to recognize cohabitants’ rights drawn from their relationship to jurisdictions that impose status-based obligations. While most states today allow cohabitants to assert claims against one another as a matter of common law, a few state legislatures have enacted statutory provisions governing cohabitants’ contractual claims. The article also provides the first published discussion of the development of the Uniform Law Commission’s new cohabitants’ economic remedies act, and the article concludes with thoughts about possible future directions of the law of nonmarital cohabitation in the United States.

Keywords: nonmarital cohabitants, family

Suggested Citation

Cahn, Naomi R. and Atwood, Barbara, Nonmarital Cohabitants: The US Approach (July 6, 2021). Houston Journal of International Law, Forthcoming, Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2021-32, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3881259

Naomi R. Cahn (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Barbara Atwood

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
81
Abstract Views
301
rank
379,963
PlumX Metrics