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More saying 'I do want a prenup' without saying 'I do'

Don't want to get married? If that's the case, you are not alone. Not getting married is a decision that more and more Americans are making. But that doesn't mean that those against marriage are against committed relationships.

More couples are moving in together, combining assets and sharing debt, having children, etc. without officially tying the knot. While this setup means that these couples won't go through the official process of divorce and have official marital property, that doesn't mean that they won't split up, which is why more "single" folks are creating prenuptial-like agreements.

Well, the contracts that the non-married create are not actually called prenuptial agreements since no nuptials are involved. But a cohabitation agreement is similar in its goal. The agreements help couples manage important family law issues should their relationships end. A cohabitation agreement can and should cover issues such as property division, debt division, child custody and child support.

In the time of the modern family, it's clear that many people understand that a family doesn't necessarily mean that a marriage is involved. The Pew Research Center says that only 51 percent of adults are marrying, leaving a large population of adults and children who are parts of families united by ties other than marriage.

If only those interested in marriage believe that they can benefit from a prenuptial agreement, those not seeking marriage but in otherwise similar relationships could find themselves losing out financially and fighting for child custody only when their relationships hit the rocks. Creating a prenuptial or cohabitation agreement early can protect couples from how acrimonious and emotional that fighting over money and family matters can be when the union is ending.

Relationships end, whether they involve marriage or cohabitation without a marriage license. Agreements regarding assets, debts, support and custody are meant to make the ending of those relationships -- the beginning of a new chapter -- easier.

Source

CNN Money: "Prenups aren't just for married couples anymore," Jessica Dickler, Mar. 20, 2012

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