CHICAGO, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost half of divorce attorneys have noted a spike in the number of courts battles between couples who had previously lived together according a recent poll of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer (AAML) members. In addition, 39% of the respondents noted an increase in the number of cohabitation agreements between live-in couples during the past five years. Interestingly enough, 30% of the attorneys say that a majority of cohabitation agreements they draw up are for same sex couples, while 70% say most are for heterosexual couples.
"As more couples decide to live together they need to become better aware of the real legal consequences of this decision. Not having a ring on your finger doesn't prevent your partner from making legal claims against your property and your earnings," said Linda Lea Viken, president of the AAML. "Cohabitation agreements are basically similar to prenups for couples who choose not to marry. Without a legal agreement in place, many break-ups can all too often resemble a divorce in several ways."
Overall, 48% of AAML members have noted an increase in the number of legal battles between couples who had lived together during the past five years, while 39% of the respondents have cited a rise in cohabitation agreements during the same period of time.
Founded in 1962, the mission of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) is to provide leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law.
Comprised of the top 1,600 matrimonial attorneys throughout the nation, members are recognized experts in the specialized areas of matrimonial law, including divorce, prenuptial agreements, legal separation, annulment, custody, property valuation and division, support, and the rights of unmarried couples.
SOURCE American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers