Moving in together, or cohabiting, is a major move which affects the finances of each person in the relationship. Cohabitation statistics indicate that more couples are living together because of the economic climate, in many cases, postponing a wedding.
However, before moving in together, couples should consider the benefits of having a simple court wedding that offers both parties financial protection.
Finances and marriage are a little easier to manage, since marriage offers more protection to both parties in the relationship.
Cohabitation law offers some protection to persons who move in together, but cohabitation law does not offer the financial protection to a cohabiting couple that a married couple has.
Marriage and cohabitation offer different rights, and persons considering marriage and cohabitation should be aware of the rights they have in each case.
The Guide for any Woman Who’s Planning to Live Together Before Tying the Knot
Unmarried couples living together can take several steps to ensure that money issues are dealt with properly. Before moving in together, couples should make plans for how they will deal with money issues. The act of planning for finances and the presence of further planning for the future indicates the strength of the relationship and the individuals in it.
Making good plans helps couples to make better decisions, and enjoy the moment with less stress or worry. Without adequate preparation for the future, the next moment may be less than what it might have been, with proper planning. Combining a bank account with a cohabiting partner is not necessary. In fact, few couples do that when moving in together. Both credit cards and savings accounts should be kept separate.
Sharing these accounts makes you liable for the spending habits of your partner- good or bad.
For property that is jointly owned, it is usually assumed that each party owns an equal share of the property. If there is a breakup, each person should receive an equal share of the proceeds from the sale, provided that they also shared expenses relating to the sale in the same way.
Where there are children in the relationship, there is an obligation on parents to support their children financially.
You can consider making a written contract with your partner that shows who owns what, and how you split income and expenses. Selfhelplaw.com has useful forms that you can download and use to make a written property agreement.