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Kardos, Rickles & Hand Bucks County Divorce Attorney
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Marriage Trends And The Rise Of Committed Relationships


In the past, many people assumed they would get married in adulthood, but recent trends show a shift away from traditional marriages. More and more couples are opting for committed relationships, unions that exist without the legal or religious ties of marriage.

Whether you are looking to create a legal structure around your committed relationship or are planning to marry and want to discuss premarital agreements or other legal concerns, connect with a Bucks County family attorney. Family lawyers are able to help couples navigate a variety of unions, and are able to provide legal guidance if those unions come to an end as well.

Non-Traditional Unions

Marriage rates have been declining for decades in America. According to one report, in 1960, nearly 75% of adults were married in the US. But this percentage drastically decreased and landed at approximately 50% of American adults being married in 2016.

There are several factors contributing to the decline in traditional marriages. One reason is that people who do get married do so later in life than they did in past decades. Additionally, social and cultural attitudes towards marriage have changed, and as a result, getting married is not as high of a priority for many American adults as it once was.

As marriage attitudes have changed, non-traditional unions have increased. For example, there are more couples choosing to cohabitate, either living together as a committed couple without children or building families out of wedlock.

If you live with your partner and share expenses, it could be in everyone’s best interests to draft legal documents, even if you choose not to engage in a traditional marriage. Because while committed relationships are not recognized by the law in the same way as marriages, many couples want formal agreements.

Sometimes referred to as cohabitation agreements, contracts for committed unions help protect each partner’s assets and clarify expectations around finances, household responsibilities, and what will happen to assets and debts gathered during the course of the partnership should a future separation occur.

A cohabitation agreement could include:

  • A clear definition on how expenses will be shared
  • An outline of how property purchased would be divided in the event of a separation
  • Information on the care for and support for children of the union
  • An agreement about financial accounts, such as if they will be shared or not
  • Specific steps forward if disputes arise

Agreements need to be drafted individually as each couple has their own concerns, assets, and plans.

Separations and Legal Issues

Pennsylvania divorces and separations of long-term partners in New Jersey can be complicated, but a Bucks County family attorney can guide you through the process. Marriage trends are shifting, and if you were not married to your long-term partner but believe assets should be split if the union comes to an end, talk to a lawyer.

What cohabitation and marriage questions do you have? Whether you plan to marry or not, the legal team at Kardos, Rickles & Hand will share with you possible agreements when it comes to finances, assets, property, and more. Schedule your no-cost consultation, call 215-968-6602.

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