*Living together outside of marriage, once associated primarily with Hollywood celebrities and libertines, has become so common that if you tell your parents you’re moving in with your significant other, they’ll probably roll their eyes and ask you to pass the peas.
Young adults – along with older adults who have been previously married – may view living together as a way to avoid the hassles often associated with the end of a marriage. But if you and your partner share property, a breakup could be even messier than a dish-throwing divorce. “The biggest financial issue that unmarried couples face is the issue of yours, mine or ours,” says Frederick Hertz, an Oakland attorney and author of Living Together: A Legal Guide for Unmarried Couples. “Marriage is a system that organizes that landscape for you. If you had it before, it’s yours. If you earned it while we’re together, it’s ours. With unmarried couples, it’s all up in the air.”
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