Cohabitation Agreement: Do You Need One?

Last year, about 18 million adults in the U.S. were in cohabitating relationships, says the Pew Research. The figure has already shown a 29 percent increase from the figure—14 million adults—recorded in 2007.

Given those numbers, it’s only wise and practical to ensure you and your partner both cover your legal bases. In case of a separation, a cohabitation agreement can provide much needed protection for the weaker partner in the relationship. This is where your cohabitation lawyer comes in:

Draft the agreement

You and your partner can consult with an attorney and have a contract or agreement drawn up that basically states all your rights to whatever properties, investments or income you have. In case of a break up or separation, this agreement can easily establish your claim to all your assets so the other party won’t have a chance to claim what rightfully belongs to you.

Purpose of the cohabitation agreement

There are laws that help protect one’s finances and assets. However, most of those laws apply to married couples. This agreement or contract is to ensure cohabitating couples acquire the same protection as well. This document makes it easier to protect your finances in case of a break up.

What it can’t cover

These agreements won’t be able to address child custody problems, though, or child support issues. Division of pension accounts isn’t covered as well. Keep these in mind when you consult with a cohabitation lawyer to draft up the agreement.

Why get one

The last thing you want is for the court to reject a cohabitation agreement and allow a former partner to acquire the interest in all your assets. That could be devastating. Make sure it won’t happen to you. Take the necessary legal measures now to ensure less problems and worries for you in the future.

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