These days, a lot of couples are saying, “I don’t” to marriage. They call themselves “Committed Unmarrieds” – which basically means they’re committed to each other and the idea that marriage isn’t necessary. According to Time magazine, more than five million unmarried couples live together in the United Sates alone, eight times as many as 40 years ago. A record-breaking 40% of babies born last year had unmarried parents.
So, why are so many couples raising families out of wedlock? Experts say it’s partly because of the number of famous unmarried parents, like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, and Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Some Committed Unmarried couples also claim that their relationships are stronger because they choose to be together instead of staying together because they’re legally hitched. However, according to the Rutgers University National Marriage Project, couples who live together are twice as likely to break up as married couples. Some unmarried couples also say that skipping a trip down the aisle saves them big bucks, but that’s not exactly true.
One man mentioned in the article saved $50,000 by not having a wedding – saying he’d use the money to help pay for his kids’ college. However, being unmarried is costing him a bundle. For one thing, he and his partner can’t get a tax break by filing joint taxes. Since he’s not covered by her company health-insurance, he has to pay $12,000 a year for his own insurance policy. Not only that, but unmarried parents have to draw up legal documents to guarantee rights that are automatically given to married couples, rights that cover everything from child custody, to property rights, to who inherits what.
To supporters of marriage, it seems like a lot of extra work. After all, if you have to hire a lawyer up front to lay out the terms of your commitment - you might as well get married. You might have to hire a lawyer later on if things go bad – just like during a divorce. However, with marriage, you’ll know your partner is committed to a future with you – and you’ll save a lot of money to boot.