Census Bureau data shows more Iowa couples are living together out of wedlock. Financial experts say those non-married couples face a host of problems because they aren’t protected by the same laws as married people. Financial advisor Sheryl Garrett offers one example — of what happens to the property if one party decides to leave the relationship. Garrett says “All of those kinds of things that would be provided to us in a divorce court, or with divorce attorneys in that negotiation, we would spell out in a domestic partnership agreement.” She says there are a number of other rights that singles who live together don’t have, that married people do. Garrett says “We, as unmarried partners, do not have an automatic right to visit our partner in the hospital without a health care directive. And we have to have that executed and signed and with us at all times so we can take that right into the hospital.” She says Iowans can download a fill-in-the blank style domestic partnership agreement from the Internet. One website that offers such a free form is: “www.lawdepot.com/contracts/cohab/”.
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