By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does it seem as though members of the Gen Y population are not marrying at the rate of their predecessors? It’s not your imagination. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that just 20% of of this generation, ages 18-34, are married.

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“I don’t think there is a problem with that,” says 20-year-old Kortney. “I’ve lived with someone before and it’s okay, it’s fine.”

“More people are career driven,” says Caroleen, “and (they’re) really not thinking about marriage.”

Cooley Handy Law Firm Managing Partner Kevin Handy has had clients of this generation. He says it’s important to remember the legal ramifications the lack of marriage certificate can bring.

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“We’ve seen clients from Gen Y coming in who haven’t gotten married but they have acted like married couples,” Handy says, “buying property together, having children together, and they are splitting up. It’s a real problem.”

Handy says you have no legal rights to property titled in someone’s name. If you bought property together, both parties have to agree to sell, or you have to file a partition action, which he says is much more complicated then a divorce.

Handy believes if a domestic partnership agreement is the way to protect folks living together.

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