Currently, people regard formal marriage as an economic burden and opt for alternatives. Although cohabitation is becoming popular, people need to look for child support and family asset management, and incentive for mutual development.
Cohabitation comes with a low cost and risks than marriage but provides limited security for couples. For instance, cohabitation is founded on sexual attachment and the desire to cut costs by living together, but there is no mutual obligation (Wieteska, 2018). On the other hand, marriage offers an incentive for mutual development, but this requires commitment and finances. Therefore, though seemingly a modern form of relationship, cohabitation bears an overall cost that may outdo its benefits compared to marriage.
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Cohabitation and marriage evoke legal issues in equal measure. Marriage carries tax relief as one of the legal benefits. On the other hand, some states do not acknowledge cohabitation as a formal bond, limiting the legal benefits that cohabitating couples derive in case of a separation. Besides, married individuals enjoy legal provisions that allow them to make decisions on behalf of their partners in case of an emergency. Although the cost of marriage is higher than that of cohabitation, individuals enjoy more legal provisions, making marriage a better option than cohabitation.
Overall, more people embrace cohabitation as the new way of family life; they should reconsider the benefits that come with legal marriage, including tax relief and acknowledgment by the law. However, this also places them in the middle of commitments that may have economic impacts.
Wieteska, M. (2018). Marriage vs cohabitation – an alternative or opposite? An attempt to define cohabitation in opposition to marriage. Journal Of Education Culture And Society, 9(1), 27-35. https://doi.org/10.15503/jecs20181.27.35