What is Your Legal Relationship Status? [Infographic Transcript]

There are many different relationship statuses, and each one can affect your legal position in multiple ways. Read below and find out how your relationship status can impact:

  • Your rights and obligations
  • The ownership of your assets
  • Which legal document protects you


Being single means you either have never been married or were married but are now divorced or widowed.

Legally-speaking? You are not bound to anyone who is not a dependent.

Common Law

Common Law, sometimes called a de facto relationship or a common law marriage, consists of two people living together in a romantic relationship who meet the legal requirements to be considered married under common law.

Legally-speaking? Your rights will vary depending on the state or territory you live in. In some places, common law individuals have similar rights as married couples, but in other places, their rights may be limited.

Create a Common Law Agreement to help protect you in the event of separation by detailing your rights, assets, liabilities, and more.


An engagement is when two people involved in a romantic relationship intend to be married.

Legally-speaking? If you were already in a common law relationship, your rights would stay the same. If not, your status would remain as single until marriage.

Create a Prenuptial Agreement prior to your wedding in order to protect your personal assets and more if things don’t work out as planned.


A marriage is when two people involved in a romantic relationship participate in a legal wedding ceremony.

Legally-speaking? It depends on where you got married, but the law generally covers division of property, assets, debts, alimony, and any decisions involving children in the event of separation or divorce.

Ensure you create a Prenuptial Agreement before marriage to handle issues that the law doesn’t cover the way you want it to or at all. 


Separation is when two people who were previously married have decided to end their relationship without getting a divorce.

Legally-speaking? Couples who decide to separate have the option to divide their assets, properties, and debts prior to formally ending the relationship in court.

Use a Separation Agreement and divide your assets, debts, responsibilities to your children, and more together instead of letting the courts decide.


A divorce (or dissolution) is when a person who was once married or in a civil union has completed the legal separation process by ending their relationship in a court of law.

Legally-speaking? Your relationship status returns to single and you maintain the rights that you had prior to the relationship (with the exception of anything that was negotiated between you and your ex-spouse, like division of property, assets, and debts).

Creating a Prenuptial Agreement before marriage can help you retain your personal assets after divorce.

Want more information? Be sure to check out the original post here: What is My Legal Relationship Status?

Posted by Ashley Camarneiro

Ashley is an experienced researcher and writer with an interest in real estate, contract, and family law. Before starting at LawDepot in the summer of 2017, Ashley worked as a legal assistant in the corporate and family law sector.