Essay on Living Together Before Marriage

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Living Together Before Marriage

As the rate of divorce soars and as increasing numbers of marriages disintegrate, living together has become the popular alternative to many people in north America. Expersts estimate that "roughly 2.2 million people are currently sharing bed and board in a live-in arrangement, this is approximately
1% of the total population."("Family." Comptoms Encyclopedia. 1992 ed.)
Living together, more formally known as non marital cohabitation, is an emerging lifestyle. In fact, "More than one fourth of all unmarried couples living together in the early 1980's were between 25 and 34 years old, and an additional
19 percent were 45 and over."("Today's Families."Detroit Free Press 18 October
1995: B17.)
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In many cases, living together can have many legal and economic benefits.
Living together is conducted with minimal legal interference, therefore if the relationship fails, separating is quick, unhampered by legal details. It would be wrong to think that all people living are free from legal interference. In most provinces "only short term relationships are unaffected by existing legislation. Couples who have cohabited for several years have significally more legal rights and responsibilities, depending on their place of residence.
Several provinces have recently introduced laws that give non-marital cohabitors certain legal rights" (Carter, Sharon. "Trial Marriage". Ladies' Home Journal
14 (May 1993): 12-13.)

It is important that couples understand the legal ramifications of living together. Those who wish to avoid the legal liabilities of living together or wish to establish property rights or other responsibilities should enter a cohabitation agreement with their lover. Furthermore, a couple's finical situation may discourage thoughts of marriage. Some people may be trapped on a minimal income and may be forced to choose between marriage and income due to benefits or pensions from former or deceased spouses that may be discontinued if that individual gets remarried. "Rather than marry and impoverish their incomes, a number of couples choose to cohabit and pool their financial resources."(Pearce, Jack M.
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