When you are in a relationship with someone, the question of getting married or just living together might come up. It is imperative that you think carefully about this decision so that you can make the decision that is in your best interests.

Living together is something that doesn’t require a formal agreement to start or end. This means that you can just grab a few outfits and move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend. If the relationship goes sour, you can grab those same outfits and move out.

When you get married, you have to have a legal agreement. This is done by obtaining a marriage license. You would have to get a divorce if you wanted to be able to end the marriage. This comes with a host of legal proceedings that can cost you time and money.

Whether you choose to live together or to get married, there is a good chance that you will accumulate possessions during the relationship. If you split up, you will have to figure out who gets what. In a divorce, you would do this during the property division process. In a co-habitation situation, there isn’t a formal way you would do there.

Marriage also has some specific protections that you need to think about. These include being able to obtain insurance on your spouse’s plan if necessary. You might be able to get alimony if you end up divorcing. Other points might also apply, so make sure that you consider these if you are trying to decide which option is better for your situation.

Source: FindLaw, “Marriage vs. Cohabitation,” accessed July 20, 2017