Living Together Without Being Married 2

How the Laws Affect You When You’re Living With Your Partner

Most states have laws in place to protect the rights of couples who have chosen to live together without getting married. These laws vary from state to state and deal with a variety of different scenarios.

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In general, couples are free to live together or “cohabitate” and still retain their individual rights. Breakups do not typically require a court order and both parties can leave the relationship at any time without further obligation.

The drawback is that this casual relationship does not give couples the right to make medical decisions for their partner nor does it allow them to assume a partner’s estate in the event of death. For couples seeking more security, a contract may be required to ensure that they are protected in the future.

It should be noted that such a contract may not be recognized by the court if it deals with a same-sex relationship. While many other countries have registered domestic partnerships and civil unions to protect the rights of same-sex couples, very few states in the U.S. have adopted such a law.

However, many states do have laws that provide for couples who live together as if they were married, even though no formal ceremony has taken place. Commonly known as “common-law marriages,” parties who live together and behave as a married couple can often assume the same rights and benefits of couples who have walked down the aisle. For this reason, couples wishing to avoid any future legal or financial disputes should take extra care to keep their finances separate and implement written contracts that clearly define the extent of their obligations.


  • Marvin williams

    Do I have to pay child support if im in a relationship with my partner and she lives with me we are not married?

  • lriss

    live with my boyfriend, first he live with me in my apt for about two years, he
    never payed any of the rent or other fees even when we sopke about it prior to
    him moving in, he always said because he would help a little with groceries and
    buy fast food from time to time that was covered. We then decided to get a home
    which loan is under his name and at which I have been paying half the bills,
    invested over 800 for improvements and have bought double the groceries he has
    ever brought in, I was informed within a day a had to move out and on the same
    token he changed the locks and did not give me a key. I also have a bill in my
    name at this place. What shall I do?