Many Ohio residents decide to spend their lives with another person without ever getting married. For some, the idea of marriage simply doesn't fit with their personal beliefs. For others, the time for marriage simply hasn't come yet. Cohabiting with a significant other may even be considered a way to take a relationship to the next level, trying it out before taking the leap to marriage. However, regardless of why they remain unmarried, couples should recognize that in the event that the relationship comes to an end, they may wind up facing many of the legal issues that divorcing married couples do. This includes child custody, child support and property division.
When it comes to property division, there may be steps an individual can take during the course of an unmarried relationship to protect assets. One of the biggest things an individual can refrain from doing is commingling money with a significant other. Once funds are commingled, they become nearly impossible to determine who owns what. Therefore, in these instances, the account will likely be split, which could leave an individual short-changed.
Another step to consider is entering into a property agreement. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, a property agreement can address how property will be divided in the event that the relationship sours and comes to an end.
Although many aspects of divorce are applicable to unmarried couples who breakup, unmarried couples often face other, more challenging issues. For this reason, those who have accumulated assets with their significant other, or had children with them, may want to get more information to ensure that their legal rights are protected.
Source: FindLaw, "Managing Marital Property - Do's and Don'ts," accessed on Jan. 30, 2015