Living together not married, legal protection of assets

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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

Answers:

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.


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