Unmarried couples increasingly investing in property together

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Thursday, March 6, 2014.

People’s lives are getting busier and busier. As many young couples find themselves striving for career success and trying to put aside money for the future, marriage can seem like an expensive diversion. Some couples throughout the nation may be together for years before they consider getting married, if they choose to do so at all. Couples are no different in Missouri. As their relationships progress, increasing numbers of unmarried couples are choosing to save for a house rather than for a wedding.

For some, the idea of marriage is something far off in the future. One young couple saved during their college years so they could afford to buy a house. They intended to marry eventually, but felt it was more sensible in the meantime to own property instead of spending their money on rent payments. For others, previous marriages have left them with benefits that they would lose if they remarried. Furthermore, same-sex couples are legally unable to marry in certain states.

One study, looking at married ages 18 to 34, found that 25 percent had bought a house before their wedding. This study also considered those more than 45 years of age, finding that 14 percent had bought a home before marriage. As the old taboos connected with being unmarried wane, this is a practice that is becoming more and more common. However, if a settlement needs to be reached between an unmarried couple, the couple may still need to negotiate a separation agreement.

With or without marriage, relationships can still come to an end. When an unmarried couple has been cohabiting, and if they have children or share property, they will need to reach a decision about how to divide their assets. Sometimes an agreement can be reached without a dispute. However, if you and your partner are struggling to agree, you may want to make yourself aware of your rights and state legislation. This will allow you to protect your assets and work toward an agreement that is fair for all concerned.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “First Comes Love, Then Comes House? More Unmarried Couples Are Buying Homes,” Susan Johnston, Feb. 25, 2014

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