In Washington, the Committed Intimate Relationship (“CIR”) doctrine protects the interests of certain unmarried individuals when they end a committed relationship. This doctrine assists in the resolution of property distribution when certain unmarried couples separate. A CIR occurs when a couple has a marriage-like relationship but know that they are not lawfully married. Courts consider certain factors to determine if a couple had a CIR, including the relationship’s length, its purpose, continuous cohabitation, pooling of resources and services, and the parties’ intent. Connell v. Francisco. In a recent Washington divorce case, the husband challenged the court’s characterization of certain property as separate by alleging the parties were engaged in a CIR prior to their marriage.
According to the appeals court’s unpublished opinion, the parties started dating in 2006 and moved in together in early 2009. Each of them moved away for a while during the relationship.
The wife claimed their relationship was “rocky” because of infidelity, but both parties stated they never broke up while they were dating.