Being in a relationship is one of the most rewarding life experiences. We all long for someone with whom we can share our daily experiences and who will console us after a long, taxing day. All relationships, however, don’t come with the Hollywood treatment of a movie script ending. In fact, the Department of Justice explains that 15% of all legal issues stem from romantic partnerships. Here we will evaluate the four most common legal issues plaguing those in intimate relationships.
No relationship is perfect and often our most heated arguments are with our intimate partners. Unfortunately, too often these arguments go too far and end up in a physical dispute. According to the CDC, one in three women and one in four men have been physically harmed by their partner, making domestic violence the most common legal issue experienced by couples. Violence against a loved one is never acceptable and fortunately institutions like the NCADV offer resources for individuals who are plagued by domestic violence.
Another common legal issue amongst intimate couples is financial fraud. Whether it is unintentional or an ex-partner taking revenge for a sour breakup, unauthorized charges on a credit card most frequently come from the hands of a romantic partner according to financial experts. To avoid any discrepancies, you should simply ask your financial institution to send you a new card after a breakup.
Unfortunately, common relationships are not protected under the same laws as marriage or civil unions especially when it comes to property disputes. This makes property disputes a common legal issue amongst intimate couples. Experts recommend that when purchasing property with an intimate partner to be very specific as to who will retain ownership should the relationship dissolve. If this is not done beforehand, experts advise that mediation is often the best manner to handle property disputes especially because of the high cost associated with taking property claims to court.
Unlike property disputes, custody disputes are handled in the same fashion for married and unwed couples, making it a common legal issue. Legal experts advise that couples should attempt to amicably set up a visitation schedule without involving the courts; however, when this is impossible, the couple has the same recourse as married individuals.
Knowing the legal issues that intimate couples face can help protect you against the more avoidable situations, and can give you resources for situations outside of your control.
Author Harper Harmon is a freelance writer and blogger who focuses on business, health and other various topics. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from UCLA and currently resides in Santa Cruz with her dog, Sassy.