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Civil marriage in America: how to protect yourself and property under the law


Source: Money Talks News

According to Pew Research Center, the number of married couples in the US is decreasing, and the number of civil marriages is growing. About 18, millions of couples just decided to live together without registration of marriage in the 2016 year, which is 29% more compared to 14 million in the 2007 year.

Фото: Depositphotos

Many such couples do not think about the financial side of their relationship and the possibility of breaking, which is a mistake, because they are less protected in this regard by law compared to married couples, the newspaper writes Money Talks News.

How to buy half a house

With affordable mortgage rates, some unmarried couples may decide not only to live together in a rented home, but also to buy housing for themselves. This joyful moment can turn into a difficult problem in case of a break in relations.

Keep in mind that the house belongs to a person whose name is stated on a legal document of ownership or mortgage. It doesn't matter what verbal agreements were made between you or who paid the bail. Therefore, make sure that both parties are listed in the official documents.

The two main ways to share real estate with other people are joint property with inheritance rights or simply living together. The difference is that in the first case, part of the property of one of the co-owners in the event of his death is automatically transferred to another owner, in the second case this does not happen.

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Also keep in mind that if you both apply for a mortgage, then both are responsible for paying back it - even after you split up. If both parties are listed as owners, but only one of them took out the mortgage, then the person who took out the mortgage is responsible for the payment, even if he moved from this house.

Another common scenario: John already owns the house, then Jane moves in, and since she earns more than John, she makes monthly mortgage payments. But it is important to understand that Jane in this case has no rights to this house or its part, if no other document has been signed between them.

Фото: Depositphotos


This is bad if there is no will left after the death of one of the spouses. But in any case, their marriage certificate will take effect here, and the spouse will be able to receive a portion of the property. If the couple was not officially married, then in the event of the death of one of the partners, the right to inherit the other cannot be proved, even if they have lived together for several decades. Therefore, all property will go to the next of kin: children, brothers, sisters or parents.

If you do not want to leave a partner without inheritance, especially if you have a high income, it will be advisable to make a will.

Medical insurance

Many large insurance companies offer special programs for unmarried couples. It doesn’t matter to your employer, but it’s important to the IRS.

When you are married, the IRS does not tax the health insurance tax on your spouse’s income if he or she uses your insurance plan. But if you share the plan with your unmarried partner, the medical tax will be deducted from your income and from its income.

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Фото: Depositphotos

Marriage without registration

There is a situation in which a couple living together can enjoy the rights of married people, avoiding traditional registration.

A cohabitation based on cohabitation is recognized in 15 states, but in order for it, and therefore protection, to extend to your couple, you must meet several criteria.

These couples should:

  • Living together for a long period of time (lawmakers have not determined which period is considered “long”);
  • Introduce yourself as a married couple: take a common surname; to talk about each other as a husband and wife; file a joint tax return;
  • Strive for marriage registration.

Keep in mind that the burden of proof that you are in a civil marriage falls entirely on your shoulders, this status is not assigned automatically. As soon as you confirm it, you will receive the privileges of married couples, including the privilege to go through legal divorce and division of property in case of separation.

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