Non-Traditional Marriage


Nowadays, couples are more reluctant to participate in the institution of marriage.  Unfortunately, they have seen many couples who have preceded them in this ritual, only to have it end in divorce. 

These individuals still participate in all of the trappings of marriage.  They live together.  They have and raise children together.  Further, they purchase and own property together.

With a marriage, individuals can prepare a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to create a framework as to how the property is to be divided in the event of a divorce or separation.  Whether or not there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a marriage that fails always has the statutory process of a divorce action to divide the marital property.  Non-traditional relationships cannot participate in divorce actions to terminate their relationship and divide their property.  This limitation makes advance planning all the more important.

As a counterpart to a prenuptial agreement, nontraditional couples can purchase and own property through an Operating Agreement for Tenants in Common.

When non-married people own property together, unless they agree that it will go the survivor of the two, the property is held by the two individuals as “tenants in common”.  With a tenancy in common, each party reserves the right to sell or transfer their share of the property.  In reality, neither party will have much success at selling their individual property.  However, with an Operating Agreement, when the parties purchase the property, they can set rules in place indicating who has the right to buy out the other party, how to handle expenses and payments, and what the actual selling price can be.

An Operating Agreement can allow parties to a non-traditional relationship to have the confidence to fully engage and commit to their relationship, knowing that, if things do not work out, they will have the ability to move forward individually.

These types of agreements require a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to ensure that the client’s wishes are followed, and that their interests are protected.  Complete Michigan Legal Solutions will provide the type of representation that you need.

Posted in Family Law, Marital Assets and tagged , , .