Do I legally owe the mother of my 18 and 21 year old anything if we break up?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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Do I legally owe the mother of my 18 and 21 year old anything if we break up?

We have lived together for many years but never got married. The house is in her name and her car. The 18 year old is in college.We have grown apart and I want to know what do I legally need to do.

Asked on August 26, 2011 Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation. Here is the thing:  the Commonwealth on Pennsylvania recognizes common law marriages created prior to 2005 (you would count here for the purposes of the time line).  So if you have "held yourself out as married" for the past years that you have lived together then under the law you are married.  Then you would actually have to file for divorce.  And then she can indeed ask for spousal support. There are certain factors that the court will look at to determine if a common law marriage existed: did you file joint tax return, etc.  So I would seek consultation from an attorney in your area on the matter.  Good luck.

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