Alabama Cohabitation Agreements Can Protect Non-Married Couples

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Oct 29, 2013 | 0 Comments

Recent research has revealed that rates of remarriage are on a steep decline, and it's largely attributed to the rise in cohabitation. 

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Many couples are taking the view that living together without making it official with a marriage license is the easier, less complicated way to go. That way,  if it doesn't work out, they can simply split without the messy courtroom battles they may have endured the first time around.

For these folks, we would recommend consideration of anAlabama cohabitation agreement.

Unlike a prenuptial agreement, there is no expectation that you're going to get married anytime soon. Rather, it's a way to protect yourself and your partner from certain financial pitfalls should you break up or one if you dies.

These agreements can be individualized to fit whatever needs or priorities you have, and they can be revisited at any time. It's a smart solution for those who are determined to avoid another walk to the altar.

New analysis of federal marriage data, conducted by sociologists with the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, indicates that the overall remarriage rate in the U.S. has dipped by 40 percent in the last 20 years.

Back in 1990, about 50 out of every 1,000 Americans who were divorced or widowed were getting remarried. Fast-forward to 2011. Today, just 29 out of every 1,000 divorced or widowed persons are getting remarried.

This was true for all age groups, though the results tended to be more pronounced among younger cohorts. There was a nearly 55 percent decline for remarriage among people under the age of 24. For those between the ages of 25 and 34, the remarriage rate was down 40 percent.

There are a number of possible reasons for this.

The first of those is that people are getting married the first time around at an older age. On average, women are 27 and men are 29. What that means is that by the time these couples separate, they aren't all that eager to march down the aisle again.

Secondly, cohabitation is far more acceptable today than it was years ago.

Many worry that remarriage won't be successful. Unfortunately, the odds are they are right. As high as the numbers are for the dissolution of first-time marriages, they are even higher the second or third time around. Psychology Today reports that while first marriages have a 50 percent failure rate, second marriages fail 67 percent of the time and third marriages about 73 percent of the time.

So the reticence makes sense.

However, what makes even less sense is assuming that somehow cohabitation will be any less complicated than a marriage. This is not to say that you can't live peacefully for years if not the rest of your years with your believed, even having never agreed to marry. But if you break up, it's possible that you could still be roped into paying some of your ex's debts, lose rights to certain property and may even still be forced to pay support to your ex, depending on how long you were together.

A cohabitation agreement allows those things to be clearly defined before you get to that point. That is ultimately what will make the split less messy.

If you are interested in exploring a Birmingham cohabitation agreement, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

Additional Resources:

Remarriage rate declines as many opt for cohabitation, Sept. 12, 2012, By Sharon Jayson, USA Today

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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