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Question Details:

My boyfriend and I never believed in marriage. We were together for over a decade, and had a child together. The child and I both went under his last name. We filed taxes jointly, and announced publicly that we were married. I quit my job and became a homemaker once he completed college, and started his career. Now we are separating, and I feel I am entitled to maintenance, child support, and a split of our property. Am I entitled to these things even if we were not legally married?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Honestly, this action would lie outside the realm of divorce and property division. You may be able to sue under an implied contract theory in regards to share in any increase in wealth, and unjust enrichment. You are also may be entitled to child support, depending on how the custody arrangement works out. As an example, the case of Watts v. Watts 152 Wis. 2d 370, 448 N.W.2d 292 (Ct. App. 1989) saw a similar situation. Ultimately, the mother was granted a claim of unjust enrichment, and was awarded $113,090.08. It would be wise to seek the representation of an experienced attorney before moving forward with your case.


Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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