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DuPage County cohabitation agreement attorneyFor generations, the majority of young men and women had the goal of meeting someone, getting married, and raising a family. However, statistics reveal that for many, that goal has changed a bit. Many people today are choosing not to get married, but this choice is not necessarily keeping them from trying to build a life with that “special someone.” But, what happens when a live-in romantic relationship starts to fall apart? A qualified family lawyer can help you come up with some ways to protect yourself.

Cohabitation Statistics in the U.S.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that among American adults between the ages of 18 and 44, a larger share (59 percent) have moved in with a romantic partner at some point in their lives than have been married (50 percent). More than a third of adults (35 percent) have been in both types of relationships.

There are several common reasons cited why people choose not to get married, with one of the major ones being financial. Many people want to be financially stable before walking down the aisle. This delay in marriage has led to a huge increase in the number of couples who choose to live together, also referred to as cohabiting. In the past 50 years, the number of couples who choose to share a home either before or instead of marriage has grown by 900 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 8 million couples cohabitate. Twenty years ago, that number was just under 3 million.

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DuPage County family law attorney for cohabitation agreementsCouples that choose to live together while remaining unmarried are becoming more and more common in today's society. While there are a wide variety of reasons why a couple may not want to establish a legal partnership through marriage, they may wish to create a legal agreement that will protect their rights. A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding contract between partners, and it can establish property rights and describe how certain matters should be handled if the couple decides to break up. In any relationship, it can be difficult to consider a future without the other partner, but protecting yourself and planning for your future through a cohabitation agreement could help avoid unnecessary stress.

How Can a Cohabitation Agreement Be Helpful?

While some states recognize common-law marriage, in which a couple is considered to be legally married if they live together for a certain number of years, Illinois does not provide unmarried couples with the rights afforded to married spouses. While a prenuptial agreement may be created to help couples entering into marriage protect their assets or address what should happen in the case of divorce, these agreements only apply to married spouses. For those reside together and do not wish to be married, a cohabitation agreement can offer similar protections.

 

As with a prenuptial agreement, discussing the topic of a cohabitation agreement can be an awkward conversation between a happy couple. However, making decisions about how to address property, financial situations, and other issues in the event of a breakup can help avoid disputes in the future.

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