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Finances and unmarried couples in Texas

Many Texas couples decide to move in together before or instead of getting married. In the event a couple is contemplating doing so, planning ahead carefully is a very important task to consider.

Some couples make the mistake of failing to discuss how their finances will be handled until after they are living together. If one person makes more money than the other, the couple may want to agree that each pay a portion of each bill according to their relative incomes. It is often a good idea for people to maintain their separate accounts instead of opening joint ones, agreeing to withdraw certain amounts for bills each month.

In the event a couple decides to jointly purchase a home, it is important to carefully plan what will happen in the event the relationship later falters. Clearly outlining the ownership terms in a purchase agreement can be important in avoiding later court fights. Since unmarried couples do not enjoy the same protections in the event of a split, planning ahead and drafting financial agreements can go a long way towards helping to divide the property in the event of a break up. Carefully keeping separate property separate can also be very important.

Family legal issues can be very complex regardless of marital status. In the event an unmarried couple decides to live together, having a carefully drawn financial plan in place can help both in the event of a breakup. An unmarried person who is considering a cohabitation relationship may want to meet with a family law attorney who can assist in the preparation of a financial plan that can protect the client's interests.

Source: ABC News, "Merging Money? Couples Living Together Need a Financial Plan", Joseph Pisani, Associated Press, Feb. 11, 2015

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