Cohabitation is kind of relation where two people in love live together unmarried. Accord Article 3 of Croatian Family law, cohabitation must be in period of 3 years or less in the case of birth of a child and that couple lives in the same address (mutual flat or house).
Such community is just previous form of marriage or temporary solution, or deal for a lifetime.
Some famous couple lived in cohabitation, for example Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, still are together Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel, recently split Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis and the most popular cohabitation is between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Reasons why people decide to live together, but without formal title wife-husband, are various
Some are not ready for marriage and this is easier way on first sight.
Some wants to have rehearsal before marriage, to find out more about their future husband or wife.
Some wants to avoid traditional rules, in countries where environment will not approve their choices of partners.
Croatian famous musician couple Josipa Lisac and Karlo Metikoš lived 20 years together in cohabitation, until he died. Every Valentine day singer Josipa Lisac has concert in his name.
As numbers of divorces increase, also increase numbers of cohabitations.
Talking about legal background, accord Croatian Civil Law, cohabitation partner will inherit after death, the same as husband or wife in formal marriage. Children born in cohabitation also have equal rights. Cohabitation partners cannot adopt child. Lesbians and gays have rights to live in life partnership, not in marriage, so cohabitation is ideal form for them.
Traditional people will look at cohabitation with doubts. It was interesting when someone told that ex croatian minister Tonino Picula is single, but he was in cohabitation for a years. This example shows how people in some cases don’t get cohabitation as something serious. Especially it could be obstacle for career if you are businessman or politician, because family is connected with formal marriage.
Interesting parties who wants to get close with someone who is already in cohabitation, will use lack of form as an excuse.
“But, she is not married. ” “He is not married.”
Some others will not admit cohabitation, for example name “wild marriage” is title for cohabitation in Croatia. Our grannies talked about indecent women who lived unmarried with their men, and it was disgrace for their families, especially if they had kids. This kids were marked as “bastards” and they were mocked by their peers.
When people love each other, is it really matter are they married or in cohabitation? Because, if marriage is so safe, why is there so much divorces? If your partner wants to leave you, marriage bond can make things harder, but for sure is not guaranteed. Many marriages, even with children, broke.
I think that every couple bring individual decision about marriage or cohabitation. The most important is, they agreed mutual about this, and that cohabitation is also based on respect and understanding as formal marriage. “Paper doesn’t mean nothing to us” – that is general sentence and explanation from such couples. With or without paper, respect must confirm every kind of community, otherwise this have no sense. If you were in cohabitation for a years, and suddenly you broke and decide to get marry with another partner, that is proof that cohabitation was only temporary solution.