Why living together could cost you tens of thousands of euro

Sharing a home without legal protection of marriage can lead to huge financial fallout

“You never want to think the relationship will break up or that one of you will pass away but from day one, you need to make provision,” says Michael Dowling of Dowling Financial. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

“You never want to think the relationship will break up or that one of you will pass away but from day one, you need to make provision,” says Michael Dowling of Dowling Financial. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Marry in haste, repent at leisure as the saying goes. But if you think cohabiting is any less risky than marriage, think again. High rents, big house prices and now a pandemic are driving more lovers to live together than ever. But sharing a home without the legal protection of marriage or civil partnership can be a tricky affair.

“It’s definitely a higher priority to get the house before the wedding,” says financial planner Daniel Hardiman. “I generally see it for individuals in their early 30s who have found that rent is so expensive. Or you might see people in their 40s if there is a separation. I’d say 90 per cent of them are unaware of the tax implications of cohabiting.” Indeed, where the couple breaks up or if one party dies, the financial fallout can be a disaster.

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