Monday, August 24, 2009

Living Together? A Cohabitation Roundup

The Detroit News' Cohabitating may not increase risk of divorce indicates a change of attitude,

But the study contradicts dozens of others that have emerged since the early 1990s, which conclude that cohabitation leads to higher divorce rates.

"Research clearly shows that cohabiters have higher, not lower divorce rates," said Dan Jarvis of the Michigan Family Forum, which promotes marriage. "Cohabiters place less value on the traditional concept of 'till death do us part.' For others, cohabiting allows a couple to slowly evolve into a marital relationship that they would not have chosen if they were forced to make a thoughtful decision rather than sliding into marriage."
The article focuses on the social and not the legal implications. The Knot Too Late blog writes about the legal implications in its Cohabitation Agreements - Part 1:
With more and more couples choosing to live together instead of getting married, it is increasingly common for unmarried partners to have a Cohabitation Agreementin order to ensure that their intentions and expectations are clear and, if necessary, enforceable. Obviously, you don't need a contract if you have no assets or are in a brief relationship. But, in a long-term and serious relationship, whether you're planning on moving in together or you've been cohabiting for many years, a “cohab” can be just as necessary, if not more so, than its more famous cousin, the prenup.


If you are planning to mix assets or share expenses, it makes sense to put your agreement in writing, especially if significant money or property is involved. A cohab can provide the framework for unmarried couples to confirm their intentions and record their respective contributions. The sooner you agree on how to share your property while you are together and how to split it should you break up, the less confusion and aggravation you are likely to face later.
Well, it may be more common for New York but not for Indiana.  That second paragraph has the criterion for when there should be a cohabitation agreement whether in Indiana or New York or elsewhere.  Those of you living together or thinking of living together need a cohabitation agreement whenever there is "significant money or property is involved."

For those worried about costs, remember that an agreement will be less expensive in time and money than the time and money fighting over property and money in court.

Also, do follow the link below for "cohabitation" and "living together" for my other articles on this subject.

If you are living in Indiana and want a cohabitation agreement, please give me a call.

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