Cohabitation is becoming popular in the United States as more women and men are choosing to live together long-term before marriage. With between 40% and 50% of marriages ending in divorce today, many people feel living together is a way to prevent the unnecessary pressures of tying the knot. However, there are still many areas of cohabitation that resemble marriage. If a cohabitation relationship ends, there can be some issues similar to those that arise when a couple divorces. Of course, one of the most important things you can do is enlist the best family law attorneys possible if you need guidance in family law. Consulting the family law experts at Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with everything you need to know if there are any issues post-cohabitation break-up.
Why Do Couples Cohabitate?
One of the main reasons couples cohabitate is to prepare themselves for marriage. The stigma of cohabitation that once existed in the US has nearly disappeared. Many couples are using this as a time to see if they have chosen Mr. or Ms. Right. It is also a time for the two to get their finances in order. One financial area that can be addressed is the preparations for future property purchases or the planning of a family.
Discuss Your Relationship
While organizing your finances and planning out your family is a great part of cohabitation, it is important to have frank discussions about your relationship. Too often, marriages end due to financial problems, but lifestyles and personal goals can also get in the way post-wedding. It is important to plan things out even before cohabitating, as once you move in together, breaking up could be just as messy as a divorce, especially if you own property together. Adding children or even pets to the mix can make a cohabitation break-up even more challenging.
What Should You Do Before Cohabitating?
- Calculate a budget
- Agree on who pays which bills
- Make an exit plan in case the relationship deteriorates
- Know your personal assets before moving in
What if the Relationship Ends?
Like a marriage, cohabitating may not last forever. If this is the case, then you and your ex will need to split up any property or expenses. This is where a family law attorney may come in handy, especially if the relationship ends on a sour note. Having a budget for expenses so you know who pays which bills is a great way to know where your money is going. In the case of property, splitting this may come down to whose name the property is in. If you both signed for it, then having it divided by a court may be the end result.
For couples with children, a court can make the decisions on where the children will live. The courts can make the decision on alimony, as well.
Is Cohabitation Better Than Marriage?
There is no research to say one is better than the other. However, research has found that marriage can have measureable benefits on people. While cohabitation is on the rise in America and people see it as an alternative to marriage, the same problems can arise when a couple splits up. Like a divorce, there will still be finances, property, and children that need to be sorted out if you break-up.
Vayman & Teitelbaum Can Help
The law firm of Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with legal guidance when it comes to family law. With four locations in Georgia, Vayman & Teitelbaum, Attorneys at Law, is available to give you information on your rights. Visit our dedicated family law page to see how we can help you. If you have any questions, contact us and let our experienced attorneys in family law go to work for you.