When two seniors choose to live together without getting married, New Jersey family lawyers recommend that the couple sign a cohabitation agreement that clearly defines their rights and obligations.
According to researchers at the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, more senior Americans are choosing to live together without getting married. Researchers estimate the number of older people who decide to live together without getting married has more than doubled over the past decade. As of 2010, an estimated 2.75 million seniors above the age of 50 were cohabitating without plans of marriage.
The reasons seniors prefer to cohabitate often differ from the reasons cited by younger couples. For young people, cohabiting may serve as a trial run for the marriage, helping the couple test the waters and check compatibility before they decide to take the plunge.
Seniors, on the other hand, are more likely to think of cohabitation as a permanent alternative to marriage instead of a stepping stone. They may not feel the need to formalize their commitment or announce it to the world in the form of a wedding ceremony. In addition, seniors are more likely to be financially independent and to have finished their parental responsibilities, further reducing their incentive to marry.
New Jersey Family Lawyers Insist on Senior Cohabitation Agreements
When cohabitating seniors do not intend to get married, it is vitally important that they sign a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement may cover the distribution of assets in case of a partner's death, the payment of debts, financial support during the course of the relationship, and other matters, protecting both you and your partner when conflicts or tragedy arise.
The New Jersey family lawyers at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman represent persons in divorce, child custody, child support, parenting time, paternity and other family law-related matters across New Jersey.