Major Considerations Before Living With Someone Long-term
The State of Maryland granted same sex couples the right to marry in 2013, and the U.S. Supreme Court extended that right nationwide with its landmark 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Because it is legal for same sex couples to wed in all 50 states, all of the same rights and obligations of marriage are extended as well. That said, this only applies in the context of marriage. There are millions of Americans of all genders and sexual orientations who for one reason or another would rather not get married. And choosing not to marry can have just about as many possible implications as marriage itself, at least when it comes to the legal impact of a breakup.
At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A., we are committed to helping our clients protect their rights and secure their futures, no matter what their dreams may be. Whether you are seeking wedded bliss or a long-term committed but unmarried relationship, we want to help you make sure that you have the protections in place so you and the one you love do not have to face painful legal consequences later.
Less People Are Getting Married
As one University study reveals, millennials are simply not marrying at the same rates that people used to. As the study suggests, the marriage rate is expected to fall to as low as 70 percent by age 40. Compare this with baby boomers who married by age 40 at a rate of 91 percent. Generation X was still above 80 percent. This generation came of age with massive student loans, a housing crisis, and during a great recession. Therefore, more people than ever before are choosing to simply live together long-term without committing to the perceived trappings of marriage.
Domestic Partnership Defined
When people hear the term “domestic partnership,” they tend to think of same-sex relationships from before Obergefell, but this is a very limited view. In truth, couples of all genders and sexual orientations may choose to live together for a host of reasons. If two people choose to share finances, live together, and have a lengthy committed relationship, there may be many ways that they become intrinsically tied to each other, aside from just the emotions. When two people choose to embark upon a long-term partnership, it is often informal and without a public label. But if something goes wrong and there’s a breakup, it often leaves one person on the short end of the equation.
Things to Consider in a Breakup
If you and a domestic partner breakup, one of you may need to leave the home or apartment. Without the protections of marriage, there is no statutory need to file court documents. However, consider the following questions:
- Who gets to keep furniture items?
- Who gets to stay in the home or apartment?
- What if both names are on something? Will it be sold?
- If one person keeps something of value, will there be a financial offset?
- Who pays for moving expenses?
- What about children?
Domestic Partnership Agreements
Many of these questions and more can be answered through a contractual arrangement that sets forth the scope and terms of the relationship. Should you decide to get married later, marital laws and any subsequent prenuptial agreement would then apply. Until that time, however, a simple agreement can help to give certainty to your relationship. Give the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. a call today in Maryland to discuss whether such an agreement is right for you.