Washington family law recognizes the Committed Intimate Relationship (CIR) doctrine, which was judicially created to resolve the property distribution issues of unmarried couples who had acquired property that would have been community property if they had been married. If a court determines there was a CIR, the court must make a just and equitable distribution of the community-like property acquired during the CIR.
A party must file a petition to distribute property acquired during a CIR within three years of the date the CIR ends. In a recent case, a mother challenged the property distribution, arguing it was unjust and inequitable and that the father had filed the petition after the statute of limitations had passed.
According to the appeals court’s opinion, the couple started dating in 2004 and moved in together in 2005. In 2011, a house was purchased in the mother’s name with only her name on the mortgage. In 2012, the couple’s son was born. In 2016, the mother went to Mexico with the son. According to the mother, the locks on the house were changed when she got back.