Living together not married, legal protection of assets

My girlfriend I have been together for 7 years always maintained our individual residences. We are thinking of moving in together she will move into my house. I am divorced over 12 years ago but I do not want to be in a position where I could lose everything again. Is there something I should do to protect myself? Do we have to be living together for a certain time period before this could be an issue?

Asked on September 22, 2017 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your state does not recognize common law marriage: living together does not create legal obligations between the two of you. As long as you don't create a situation where she is dependent on you, were over sufficent time, that dependency can sometimes obligate her to support (e.g. "palimony") you are basically just "roommates" without obligations to each other. Keep your money and other assets clearly separate (e.g. you each maintain your own bank account; you each contribute to joint expenses, so neither is supporting the other, and pay for your own solo expenses) and you should be fine.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.