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Some boomers hope to avoid separation and divorce by not marrying

Baby boomers have always been trendsetters in Ontario, whether in fashion, the arts or fiscal habits. More recently, men and women of this generation are changing the way they think and feel about marriage. Perhaps in a bid to avoid the struggles associated with separation and divorce, many are avoiding marriage altogether, opting instead to live with their partners.

According to research from the Pew Research Center in the United States, more baby boomers are choosing cohabitation over marriage than ever before. In 2016, four million men and women aged 50 and up were living with their significant other, but were not married. In 2007, looking at the same demographic, there were just 2.3 million people cohabiting. Similar trends are found in Canada: the 2011 census revealed that almost 11 percent of the 50 to 59 age group lived together long term, up from 9.1 percent in 2006.

The reasons for choosing this route vary, but for many it's a way to avoid going through another divorce. For others, the hope may be to avoid complicated revision of estate planning and the need for a prenuptial agreement. However, people in long-term cohabiting relationships may have legal rights in the event of a separation.

While choosing to avoid marriage may have some benefits, long-term live-in relationships come with their own set of legal ramifications, especially in the area of property division upon separation. Anyone who is coming out of such a relationship may want to discuss his or her rights with an authority on Ontario family law. For all matters related to separation and divorce, a skilled and experienced lawyer is an excellent point of contact.

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