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Právo: More and more Czech couples live together unmarried

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Prague, June 24 (CTK) – More and more Czech couples live together without getting married and they may face serious financial problems if they break up after years, the daily Pravo writes yesterday.
“Informal cohabitation involves certain risks, mainly the possibility to end up in poverty if the relationship breaks up. The risk of financial troubles is higher than in the case of the breakup of a traditional family,” financial adviser Frantisek Machacek told Pravo.
The paper cites the example of a Marcela, 40, who was living with her partner without marriage for 14 years. Her common-law husband paid the rent and bought a car, while she used to buy food and cover the expenditures on culture and other free-time activities.
However, they broke up after 14 years ago, they both had to lease a flat and since then they have had financial problems.
“I am not able to cover my costs of living and I have started running into debts,” Marcela told Pravo.
Pravo writes that such couples have major problems if their relationship breaks up when they are no longer young and they have children.
One of the problems is that more and more couples, mainly the unmarried ones, do not have joint finances, Dana Hamplova, from the Sociological Institute says in her study.
They have “joint housing without a joint wallet,” she said.
If a couple do not share incomes and one of the partners covers everyday costs, while the other one invests in consumer goods, it might lead to a highly unequal division of property if they break up, Hamplova added.
On the other hand, married couples share finances much more often than the unmarried ones. According to statistics, only a half of unmarried couples put their finances together, while 82 percent of married couples do so, Pravo says.
One of the reasons is that divorced people as well as emancipated women who have a higher income than the partner often enter into an informal partnership and they are therefore not willing to share their incomes.
The young men and women who experienced a dramatic divorce of their parents do not want to invest everything in their partners either if they live with them without marriage, Pravo writes.
However, it adds, formal marriages last much longer, by 18 years on average, than a common-law relationship.
The partners’ age, education and their possible children also influence their decision on having joint finances, Pravo writes.
According to the statistics, about 43 percent of babies are born out of wedlock in the Czech Republic, which has started causing not only family and social problems, but also financial ones, the paper says.

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