– from Adam C. in Brookfield, WI

Question Details:

My ex and I lived together for over a decade. She took on my last name, we had joint bank accounts (where I made most of the money), and we had a child together with my last name. We are no longer together, but she is claiming some of our joint assets for division and a 50/50 share of the money in the bank account. I don't have to do this, right? We are not even married.

Family Law Attorney Response:

In this situation, you might be subject to the marital rules of dissolution.

It does not have to embody a ‘common law' standpoint. The courts just may find this situation simply to be a matter of ‘fair and just' claims. Courts do not always view contracts between unmarried persons illegal. They also do not view every claim invalid for the same reason. In the case of Watts v. Watts 137 Wis. 2d 506, 405 N.W.2d 303 (1987), the trial court initially rejected the claim of the plaintiff suggesting that she had failed to state a claim from which relief may have been granted. Upon certification, the supreme court reversed the trial court's decision.

You should go ahead and contact a family law attorney to discuss the specifics of your case in further detail.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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