Sandra Block recently wrote an article in Kiplinger Personal Finance (April 2015) about the “Financial Pros and Cons of Getting Married Later in Life”. According to the article, the number of adults over 50 who were living together but not married has doubled between 2000 and 2010. According to financial planners, these individuals are concerned that marriage will “saddle them with higher health care costs, wipe out retirement benefits, raise their taxes and disrupt estate plans” and thus avoid marriage.
Cohabitation is a trend increasing in popularity and is not just limited to people over 50. The marriage rate has decreased and adults are getting married at a much older age, if at all. For those adults who choose to live together without getting married, there are several legal issues that should be addressed.
Unlike married couples, in Virginia there are not similar legal protections for individuals who live together but are not married. Because of this, it is important that the unmarried couple consider whether agreements should be drafted and signed to protect themselves within this arrangement.
As discussed in Ms. Block’s article and expanded upon below, documenting the arrangement, while not the most romantic, is the safest way to go. There are three types of agreement that should be considered: