The living habits of couples have changed drastically over the years, and cohabitating couples are one of the fastest growing family types for a number of reasons. Couples are now putting much more focus on their career rather than preparing for a family or marriage. Wedding ceremonies are also becoming more costly, and young cohabitating couples are opting to postpone marriage plans due for financial reasons.
With the new year just around the corner, we take a look at everything young couples should know about cohabitation in 2019. Read on if you’re considering cohabiting with your partner in the coming year , or you simply want to know more about this option for the future.
What exactly is cohabitation?
There is no specific legal definition for cohabitation, however, simply put, to cohabit means to live with your partner without being married. Cohabitation could also refer to other living arrangements, such as sharing your home with friends or family.
While cohabitation does include more freedom than marriage, it can bring about some confusion when it comes to your rights as a couple, or an individual.
Pros and cons of cohabitation for couples
Cohabitation is a popular choice for many couples, particularly young couples, for a number of reasons. It requires less commitment than marriage or a civil partnership, and sharing bills with your partner can help to reduce any financial burden.
However, the legal rights for cohabitating couples are somewhat limited. For example, should you and your partner break up, you could be left without any property or assets, as you’re legally much less officiated.
Advice for cohabiting couples in 2019
The single best thing you can do as a cohabitating couple in 2019 is set up a cohabitation agreement between you and your partner. A cohabitation agreement will outline what should happen to any joint assets you own, such as your home, should your relationship come to an end. This agreement is a legally binding contract and will help to prevent any potential disputes.
Without a cohabitation agreement, living together presents you with very little legal rights. It’s also a good idea to write a will and update it regularly. Should you or your partner pass away, a will then states who is entitled to your assets, such as your money or any property you own. Although you might not want to foresee such an event, it’s always good to plan ahead for the safety and future of both you and your partner.
If you are a young couple opting to cohabitate in 2019, it’s worth deciding how you will split your bills before moving in together. Agreeing this beforehand helps to prevent any conflict further down the line. You might also want to set up an ‘emergency fund’ should any issues arise with your relationship. This emergency fund will provide you with the money to pay for any unexpected bills, without any serious financial implications.
Whether you have a cohabitation agreement or not, it’s possible you could still encounter difficulties and arguments in regards to your cohabitation. It’s best to ensure you have a specialist cohabitation disputes solicitor to help you professionally, and legally, solve your disputes.