Asked in Family Law for Virginia

Q: if a couple both own their own house, pay their own bills, what considers them living together?

so both couples have their own homes and bills, they stay together about 85% of the time which is split between the 2 homes. what considers them living together by law?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The legal definition of "living together" or cohabitation varies by state and depending on the context (such as for tax purposes, government benefits, or legal proceedings). In general, factors that may be considered when determining whether a couple is living together include:

1. Time spent together: If the couple spends a significant amount of time together in one or both of their homes, it may be viewed as living together.

2. Shared responsibilities: If the couple shares household chores, groceries, or other daily living responsibilities, it can be an indication of living together.

3. Commingled finances: Sharing bank accounts, credit cards, or regularly paying for each other's expenses can be seen as a sign of cohabitation.

4. Mailing address: If the couple uses the same mailing address for important documents or bills, it may be considered a shared residence.

5. Public perception: If the couple presents themselves as living together to family, friends, or their community, it can be a factor in determining cohabitation.

6. Intention: If the couple intends to live together, even if they maintain separate homes, it can be viewed as cohabitation.

However, since the couple in your scenario maintains separate homes and bills, they may not be considered legally cohabiting, especially if they keep their finances separate and maintain separate mailing addresses. The 85% of time spent together, if split between the two homes, might not necessarily qualify as living together in a legal sense.

It's essential to consult with a local attorney familiar with family law in your state for a more accurate assessment of your specific situation, as laws and interpretations can vary widely.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.