Sometimes, circumstances force people to live together even if they are not married. Many couples choose cohabitation without thinking of getting married. Good or bad, such is the growing trend in the world today.
What Is Cohabitation?
When an unmarried couple is living together, that is cohabitation. They cohabit for their own reasons. Some live together because of convenience. There are those who cohabit because it is their choice. Others seem to just let it happen because they enjoy the convenience of the situation.
Cohabitation Has Been a Growing Trend
Cohabitation has been increasing for the past century. In the past 50 years, it has increased by over 1,500 percent. Approximately 450,000 couples cohabited just in 1960. Today, there are about over 7.5 million couples that are living together.
About over half of all marriages in the world will cohabit first before they officially tie the knot. A majority of people in their 20s will cohabit with a partner at least once in his or her life. Many experts believe that birth control methods caused human evolution. They also say that the sexual revolution and the sharing of bill payments are the other causes.
It Is Not the Same as Domestic Relationship
Be aware that cohabitation is not equal to a domestic relationship. There are cases where the laws of domestic relationship apply to cohabiting couples. The domestic partnership means the unmarried couple is in some form of “committed relationship.” They are eligible for the same rights, benefits, and privileges of married couples.
How Does Cohabitation Affect Property Rights?
In a majority of cases, cohabitation has no bearing on one’s property rights. The law will still treat you as an individual. That means the concepts about marital property will not apply to you or your partner. This includes shared property and community property. But you can change the arrangement if you choose to do so in your cohabitation agreement.
The Nature of a Cohabitation Agreement
If you and your partner want to share the rights to a property, you should make a cohabitation agreement. In your years of living together, you will accumulate things and properties. This is why you need to make a cohabitation agreement. If you choose not to do so, your partner cannot touch your properties. This is true even if you have lived together for so many years.
What should your cohabitation agreement include?
- Support payments
- Distribution of property when you choose not to live together anymore. Or upon your death or the death of your partner.
- Real property rights
You are free to choose cohabitation over marriage. This trend has been increasing for the past hundred years or so. If you choose to cohabit with your partner, you should still consider what the future holds. Accept the fact that something may go wrong. It is not wrong to prepare for that eventuality.
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