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Questions couples may want to ask about cohabitation

Cohabitation is more common and accepted than it has been in the past, and many couples choose it when they don’t want to deal with the legal and financial sides of a marriage. Further, staying unmarried means a split can be easier and faster if and when it comes. However, there are some things that couples may want to consider before they move in together.

1. Who is expected to support the family?

Some researchers have found that expectations in a marriage may be for only one partner to work, while expectations for unmarried couples may be that both people will work and make enough to support themselves.

2. How will children be addressed?

Studies have found that single-parent families aren’t quite as common as the stats suggest, because what may be categorized as single-parent families actually are comprised of couples who are living together and not married. Therefore, they’ll need to know how they’re planning to raise their children and what rights each parent has.

3. How will property be split up?

This is an important question if the relationship ends. For married couples, there are rules about property division, alimony, and things of this nature. Couples who are not in a legal relationship — but who are living together — may not have the same regulations. This means that one person could lose out on a fair share of the property if they break up. These couples may want to consider a domestic partnership.

These are just three questions, but they address some of the biggest things unmarried couples face in Arizona. Be sure that you know your legal rights.

Source: George Washinton University, “The Negative Effects of Cohabitation,” Linda J. Waite, accessed July 11, 2016

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