Trends in Cohabitation Increase Financial Challenges

Initially comes love, then marriage, then there comes

Hold on just a darn minute! We’ve now entered the 21st century. Today's relationships have taken a completely new turn that many do not think could also entwine personal finances.

The big change is that more couples are putting off getting tying the knot and instead just moving in together. In a report by the U.S. Census say as high as 1 out of 5 households are headed by a couple not legally married. While last month the Canadian government said it is no longer tracking marriage or divorce statistics due to more people just living together without benefit of marriage may distort the statistics.

However staying single, yet involved in a lengthy relationship, while running a household, finances become a bit challenging. Couples must often manage entirely separate bank accounts as Joint accounts can become messy if or when the relationship terminates. All single couples should have a concise plan in writing on the way household finances are handled and which assets remain separated. Only because a couple lives under one roof, their finances don't need to be comingled.

A major reason some couples decide not to get married is that one of them often has financial problems or isn't financially stable. Once the couple gets married, those problems can subsequently become both their problems. Therefore, it might be prudent to remain unmarried until everyone becomes financially ready to start a legal relationship.

Before taking up residence together, a couple needs to take inventory of their financial situation, like their assets and what their liabilities, and share this information with one another. There’s no quicker way to end a relationship than finding out their partner has a huge issue that requires professional help in fixing.

It could even make sense for the partners to meet with an accredited financial planner that specializes in the finances of unmarried couples to look at their details and cover issues and how to surmount obstacles, both for potential legal questions and emotional concerns. Find a financial planner that holds a Domestic Partnership Advisor Accreditation, who has been trained in assisting unmarried partners.

New Article Dec 26, 2011

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