In years past when couples divorced, procedures related to legal remedies and child custody, property division and asset allocation, while not without their complications, were still defined. Today, however, with a growing number of Americans, and California residents, choosing not marry the lines between who's entitled to what are blurred.
A recent poll of 1,600 divorce attorneys found that 39 percent reported an increase in non-married couples seeking legal advice related to co-habitation agreements. Of these agreements, divorce attorneys report that 70 percent where for heterosexual couples. These numbers point to a growing trend that more and more couples across America are deciding not to get married.
Often the need for a co-habitation agreement is born out of necessity when a non-married couple decides to have a child or buy a house. Another major reason for having a co-habitation agreement is to protect one party from the other's debt. With both credit card and student loan debt at an all time high, having an agreement that clearly defines each party's debt responsibility can be extremely helpful.
A co-habitation agreement can also help clearly define who is entitled to what should a couple split and save couples thousands of dollars and years of time related to litigation.
Breaking up is never easy and many couples who live together face the same difficult and complex challenges associated with splitting up that married couples face. It's wise, therefore, for couples who choose to live together to safeguard their assets and protect themselves from a potentially long and painful legal battle should they split.
Source: CNN, "Prenups aren't just for married couples anymore," Jessica Dickler, Mar. 20, 2012