Many couples in Arkansas choose to get married before living together and starting a family. However, people are not stuck to this traditional process anymore. In recent decades, many couples are living together prior to marriage and many are choosing never to marry at all. When this happens, unmarried couples need to understand that they have different legal rights than married couples. While their relationships may look the same, legally they have very different outcomes.
In fact, unmarried couples have very few legal rights especially when it comes to owning property together. Despite a long-term relationship, family law courts in Arkansas will treat unmarried couples as separate individuals. Splitting property, therefore, can become difficult for these couples should they break up and want to separate lives.
In particular, if the couple chooses to purchase a home together, it can be difficult to determine how to split the property. Therefore, it is important that unmarried couples understand the legal rights as they accumulate shared property.
Unmarried couples have two options when it comes to purchasing property together. If they purchase a home, they can choose to be tenants-in-common or joint tenants. As a tenant-in-common, each party will own a specific share of the property. If the couple splits up, each person has the right to their share in the property. Joint tenants, however, share ownership equally. When splitting the property, it is split in half.
However, in situations where only one person’s name has been used to purchase property, and yet both have paid for the property, a dispute can arise. When this happens, property division disputes can be very hard to settle. Getting more information may be necessary to help unmarried couples come to a resolution on their property division issues.