MIAMI (CBS4) – “Living in sin” isn’t as taboo as it was more than a decade ago. Today over 12-million unmarried couples live under the same roof. While not every pair will sign a marriage license, many are choosing to sign a pre-marital like agreement.

Jewel Landers and her boyfriend Chuck have been a committed couple for 23 years. They live together and have a financial routine.

READ MORE: Doctors Working To Get Out Word On How Americans Can Protect Themselves Against Diabetes

“Chuck pays the household bills. He pays the mortgage. I pay for the cell phone bill, which is large, and everything that comes into the house,” explained Landers.

But the deed to the house is only in Chuck’s name. It’s something that concerns Jewel.

“I would hope that if something were to happen to us that I would get something out of it without having to take him to court,” said Landers.

In a recent survey, 48% of divorce attorneys polled said they’ve seen an increase in unmarried couples in court. A growing number are choosing to sign cohabitation agreements, a legally binding agreement for couples that share a home, but aren’t hitched.

“It outlines their expectations for their relationship and also what happens in the event that the relationship ends either by death or by simply deciding they’re not going to live together anymore,” according to Linda Lea Viken with the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Agreements can range from simple to complex, covering everything from medical decisions and health insurance to payment of debt and division of property.

READ MORE: Florida Gets $4 Billion Bump in Estimated Tax Dollars

It really depends on the couple.

“What happens if you buy a house together? Who gets that house if it’s not in both names? Also, furniture or other things that are not titled and not in anyone’s particular name. You could even divide the pets up if you wanted to,” explained Viken.

Depending on the state, an unmarried couple can be treated as legal strangers.

Cohabitation agreements prevent this.

“You don’t have to go to court. You simply follow your agreement. And that saves you the time, the money and the emotional turmoil that would be if you have a fight,” said relationship coach Dr. Anne-Renee Testa.

She believes a cohabitation agreement shouldn’t be viewed as a negative.

“It’s not about one person controlling the other. It’s not about feeling as though the romance is taken out of it. If anything, they should go out and have a glass of champagne afterwards and celebrate,” Testa remarked.

MORE NEWS: Miami Beach PD Investigating After Antisemitic Flyer Found In Several Neighborhoods

Over the past two decades, the number of unmarried couples living under the same roof has increased by more than 85 percent.

Lisa Petrillo