FAQs About Live-In Relationships and the Financial Affidavit

Relationships which involve sharing a home but not being married can be a bit tricky to explain on a Financial Affidavit, but they are not impossible to resolve.

Here are some questions I’ve encountered.

What is the best approach to completing my Financial Affidavit I am considering living with a romantic partner?

Although ex’s are often very upset when the former spouse moves on to another partner, most courts will not be very concerned. However, it is essential that your household expenses be transparent. A good practice is to open a separate bank account for household expenses, and each of you contribute funds into the account to pay utilities. Ideally, if you are renting, each party should be paying a set portion of the rent and utilities. Each party should also contribute to a grocery and other household expenses account. If your partner is not contributing to these expenses, then your former spouse will likely argue that some of the monies that you are contributing to your new household could be better spent on their alimony and/or your children’s child support.

What if I am living with my romantic relationship partner and she/he is unemployed and I am paying for the house and all of her/his expenses?

While your situation may be typical in today’s world, for the purposes of your Financial Affidavit it is far from ideal. If your partner is planning on re-entering the workforce and has the intention to reimburse you for his/her expenses during their period of unemployment, it is possible to include the “loan” with a footnote in your expenses section. If it is possible to have your partner sign a promissory note acknowledging his/her intention to pay you back, that may help persuade the judge/mediator/arbitrator that you are not making a gift to your current romantic interest.

If I am living with my romantic partner and her child, how should I present this on my Financial Affidavit?

If your partner’s child is living in your household, he/she needs to maintain very careful records for her/his child. The partner’s share of the household expenses should be increased, since there is another individual living in the home. The amount of the increase would depend on a variety of factors, including the age of the child and the amount of time the child spends in the home. It is very important that you have a formula for their contribution, and it does not change due to factors that are subjective. If your partner is financially unable at this time to contribute the entire amount of money that is reasonable, then if he/she was willing to sign a promissory note for the additional monies owed, it could be footnoted on your DRFA.

Do you have legal questions? We’re here to help your family. Call us at 770-333-1620.

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