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Americans are choosing cohabitation over remarriage

When a divorce is amicable, the process may not have to involve months of forensic accounting, investigations, and court time. Indeed, with the help of an experienced divorce attorney, a couple might agree to resolve many matters in advance, potentially minimizing the delay in obtaining an official judgment of divorce. In such cases, it may even seem relatively easy to initiate divorce proceedings.

Yet the increasingly streamlined options available in divorce proceedings do not correlate to higher rates of remarriage. In fact, a recent analysis indicates that divorced Americans are staying unmarried. According to the data, remarriage rates have declined by 40 percent since 1990. 

It seems that cohabitation may be the preferred option for individuals who have gone through a divorce. In the past 15 years, the number of unmarried American couples living together has doubled. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, about 7.8 million unmarried couples were living together in 2012, up from 2.9 million in 1996.

Yet even though divorced individuals might choose cohabitation over remarriage, a consultation with their divorce attorney might still help them in their second attempt at love. An attorney who specializes in premarital and postnuptial agreements might have sound financial advice to offer, particularly the dangers of commingling property, assets and income streams outside the protection of marital laws.

If a dispute were to arise, for example, no martial estate analysis could be applied in the context of cohabitation. Similarly, equitable distribution of joint property is another concept generally reserved for marriage. Nevertheless, a divorce attorney might be familiar with analogous provisions of contract law, often applied in prenuptial agreements, which could be used to protect one’s personal interests.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Second Marriage: Remarriage Rates Down As More Americans Opt For Cohabitation,” Sept. 13, 2013

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Americans are choosing cohabitation over remarriage | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC