Consider entering into a cohabitation agreement before moving in together. It can set the ground rules for financial and other arrangements and may prevent a lot of headaches if the relationship doesn’t last.
Hold title to any major purchases in the name of the person(s) paying for it. If you buy a car with your own down payment and make all the monthly payments yourself, the car should be in your name only. Joint purchases, however, should be in the names of both parties.
Keep finances separate if you want to avoid heated disputes in the event the relationship terminates.
Keep accurate records of your financial contributions to any property held by your partner.
Write “gift” or “loan” on checks written to your partner if you want to negate any possible suggestion that you have been supporting them, which is an issue that can arise in a post-break-up “palimony” lawsuit. Palimony is similar to alimony, where one partner must pay the other partner after breaking up, except these ex-partners were never married.
Remember that a never-married parent has the same child support obligations as a once-married parent.