National Hemp Association - Badge
Martindale Hubbell - Badge
Florida Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Badge
Dade County Bar Association 1916 - Badge
Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association 1977 - Badge
National Cannabis Industry Association - Badge
Miami Dade FANL - Badge
The Miami Herald - Badge
el Nuevo Herald - Badge

Unmarried Couples Have Limited Legal Rights

Living together but not married-maybe not even planning to get married? In Florida, the rights and obligations of unmarried couples differ significantly from those of their married peers, especially regarding property ownership, parenting responsibilities, and protections during separation. Without the safety net of marital laws, understanding these distinct legal frameworks is crucial for making important decisions that will protect your interests. It’s important to be aware of the potential vulnerabilities you may face as an unmarried couple.

Property Rights for Unmarried Couples

When it comes to property rights, Florida law doesn’t automatically grant the same division rights to unmarried couples as it does to married ones. This means that property acquired by one person in an unmarried couple remains solely theirs unless it’s explicitly shared. However, there are options for co-ownership. Joint tenancy, for instance, is significant because it includes the right of survivorship, automatically transferring ownership to the surviving partner upon the death of the other. On the other hand, tenancy in common allows each person to bequeath their share of the property to a beneficiary of their choice Understanding these options can help unmarried couples make the right choice for their circumstances.

Importance of Written Agreements

To prevent disputes over property, unmarried couples are advised to create written agreements that detail property ownership and what should occur if the relationship ends or one partner passes away. These agreements can cover contributions to and distributions from investments in real estate, personal property, and financial assets, providing a clear roadmap for managing jointly held resources.

Parenting and Protection

Parental rights in Florida hinge on biological and legal connections to the child. While mothers automatically have full custody rights, fathers must establish paternity to claim custody or visitation rights. This can be accomplished either by acknowledgment or court order. For non-biological parents, such as partners in unmarried couples, options like stepparent adoption are available but challenging, as Florida tends to favor married couples in adoption scenarios.

Separation and Domestic Violence Protections

Florida does not recognize legal separation, which means there are no established procedures for managing issues like property division or support when unmarried couples part ways. This underscores the importance of having cohabitation or property agreements in place. Additionally, protections under domestic violence laws are available to unmarried couples, allowing for protective orders that can restrict an abuser and provide temporary custody of children and residency rights.

Secure Your Partnership with Confidence at Petkovich Law Firm

Are you and your partner navigating life together without the legal protections of marriage? In Florida, the law doesn’t automatically recognize the rights of unmarried couples as it does for married ones. Petkovich Law Firm is not just another legal advisor; we are your advocates in a system that often overlooks non-traditional partnerships. Our experienced attorneys delve deep into the specifics of Florida law to craft agreements that reflect your unique relationship and future aspirations. We’re here to ensure that both partners feel secure, no matter the legal challenges you face together.Take control of your legal rights today. Reach out to Petkovich Law Firm, where we help unmarried couples like you establish clear, enforceable agreements that protect your interests and lay a solid foundation for whatever the future holds. Call us now at (305) 358-8003 to schedule a detailed consultation and start building a more secure future together.


My experience with attorney Ivette Petkovich has been excellent. She has been extremely helpful with my cases, resourceful & reliable. I would strongly recommend her for anyone who is looking for an attorney. She will always make the time and effort for a client no matter how difficult the...


I endorse this lawyer. Ivette and I have been co-counsels on several matters over the years. She has a unique approach to problem solving and is always available to bounce ideas off of. Ivette is a true advocate for her clients.

Sasha B.

Ivette was always available and did a great job. I would use her services again if needed and I will recommend her to anyone who needs an attorney.


Contact Us

  1. 1 Free Consultation Available
  2. 2 Over 15 Years Experience
  3. 3 Ready to Serve 24/7

Fill out the contact form or call us at 305-358-8003 to schedule your free consultation.