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How can unmarried couples protect their finances?

Many people these days are opting to skip the legal step of getting married. Even when these couples move in together and start a life that is akin to a married couple, they choose to just stay committed instead of getting married.

There are many reasons why people do this. Maybe someone will lose financial assistance if he or she gets married or perhaps he or she just doesn't want to have to deal with being married in the eyes of the government. If you are in a committed relationship and don't want to get married but are choosing to live together, make sure that you take steps to protect your finances.

Can we create a prenuptial-type of agreement?

While you can't draw up a prenuptial agreement if you aren't going to get married, you can still craft an agreement that details financial matters. Much like you would if you had a roommate, you could write a contract about what bills each person is responsible for paying. This could be a percentage-based deal or it could be that one person pays specific bills and other person pays the remaining bills.

What if we opt to buy a home together?

If you choose to buy a home together, you should have an agreement about who will get the house if your relationship ends. You should also do this for cars and other assets you purchase together.

What if we are going to have a child?

You should create a parenting plan that outlines how the children will be raised. This might be hard to plan, but do your best so that you can have the document to fall back on if issues come up with raising the child.

Ultimately, the key to being in a relationship like this is to make sure that you have your bases covered if something goes wrong. Making plans now can help you later.

Source: CNN, "5 Smart Financial Moves for Unmarried Couples Who Live Together," Farnoosh Torabi, accessed July 06, 2017

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