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Cohabitating Before or Instead of Marriage

Today, many more people are cohabitating. Without being legally tied together, couples may choose to reside together to save on rent, utilities and other expenses. Some couples want to live together before they consider marriage, while others may be divorced and never want to go through a divorce again.

Anna Goldfarb in https://nyti.ms/2paH2dR writes about issues that popped up when she moved into her boyfriend's condo. She forced her boyfriend to discuss what would happen if they broke up. She realized that she faced all the issues that dating couples face - time together, managing friends, jealousies, ex-partners plus more mundane issues like household contributions, managing money together and planning future expenses. Then there are the issues about dividing the chores and responsibilities.

Cohabitation Agreements, or No-Nups may be an answer to avoid problems. Discussions leading to an Agreement can help smooth the transition into a couple's relationship. Often, a Mediator can be used to help guide that discussion and lead to a written memorandum and then perhaps a lawyer can draft a contract.

Ms. Goldfarb provides a list of tips for "Living Together Without Going Nuts" at https://nyti.ms/2pavh7l . Her tips include:

1. Not combining finances in a permanent way

2. Do not co-sign for a credit card or a loan

3. Reveal student loan debt and credit card balances

4. Divide chores. Who is going to shop, cook, clean and pay bills

This is the tip of the iceberg. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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