Perhaps you have seen one of the many articles mentioning how the divorce rate has decreased and it is no longer a fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce. One of the reasons for the decrease in the divorce rate is because many couples are getting married later in life, and as such, the couples who may have been married “back in the day” are just “couples” in today’s society and therefore when they break-up it is not a legal divorce.
A majority of these couples are living together and may share financial responsibilities. Many of these couples probably have no arrangement in place as to what happens if they were to break-up.
Who is responsible for what?
Who gets to keep what furniture?
Who gets to keep the pet?
These issues and more are important conversations for couples to have because if they do not have a plan and things go south, there are less legal mechanisms in place then if the couple was married and sought a divorce.
As such, it may be beneficial for the couples to enter into a cohabitation agreement. Not necessarily to agree on who pays for what while they are together, although that could be included, but also to determine who gets what, in the event of a break-up. This cohabitation agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, but in my opinion, unlike a prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement is something that all couples should enter into if they are living together, but not married.
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