Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dating Agreements

I was drifting around the blogosphere reading some of your blogs and I came across a post on Naked With Socks On where he talked about couples creating dating contracts and I thought this was a fascinating subject and decided to write about it on my own blog. Yeah I'm a blog topic thief what can I say.

After reading NWSO's post and subsequently reading the February 23rd NY Post article I was quite intrigued.

Apparently "The number of unmarried couples living together shot up 88 percent from 1990 to 2007, according to the US Census Bureau." according to the article. I had no idea that many couples lived together without the benefit of marriage. The more I thought about it though the more it made sense to me. 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce and many people get married for the wrong reasons to begin with so there is no wonder why people are afraid to take that marriage plunge.

With so many couples living together without being married it does leave them pretty vulnerable legally. Many a couple have squabbled over who gets the bedroom set, who gets the couch, who ends up with Fido, who pays what bill and so forth. It can get pretty nasty. Many states don't have provisions in place to protect couples that are not married. Hence the advent of the pre-prenup or the cohabitation agreement or as some call it a "cohab".

The more I thought about it the more it makes sense. If I were living with someone and we both put our all into building a home together you bet I would want to make sure my rights were protected.

These agreements can be formal and drawn up by an attorney or they can be as informal as a mutually agreed upon email.

I think this is a really great idea. If I ever decide to "shack up" with someone in the future (not that I am looking to do that) I will surely lay out in no uncertain terms who gets what and how things should get divided.

What do yo think? Would you ever draw up a "cohab"?

9 People saying stuff:

Vi said...

I would, but here in the UK, it's really not worth the paper it's written on unless you are married. You get taxed HEAPS if you aren't on what you receive. Plus families can contest the will and get it all if not married. Stupid.

Secretia said...

Dating contracts? Like a pre-nuptial without the nuptial!

Good idea sometimes.


The Dish said...

I honestly don't know how I feel about it. Part me thinks that if you are living together without any plans of marrying that it is a good idea to lay out exactly who gets what. The other part thinks it's sad to be that pessimistic about it.

Karen said...

It is a great idea. I lived with someone and it ended badly. I will never do it again until marriage. Never.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I have heard of these contracts, but mainly for gay couples. After getting divorced, I can see that it is good to have an exit strategy. However, I believe it is a lot more expensive (initially)than just paying for a simple marriage license. Plus, when you are married, you can share health benefits and all that.

Renaissance Woman said...

I haven't heard about them but think there are some good points. I think there should be some protection but I also think that there should be some common sense about what people get to leave with if splitting. The money they brought, split assets, etc. I know that emotions take over and doing what is "best" is often out the door. So...I guess then they do make sense.

Moooooog35 said...

I would totally make a contract for living with my girlfriend but I'm so scared my wife would find out.

Just telling it like it is said...

I never thought of that...good idea

LiLu said...

B and I often joke about who would get the cats, but that's as far as we've gone. Damn!