Cohabitation Agreement: What Is It and Why You Need One

Posted in uncategorized on May 27, 2023

There are a lot of couples who decide to live together but never marry. There is nothing wrong with that. For many, marriage just isn’t enticing. However, if you live with someone you consider a partner, it is still a good idea to protect yourself, your assets, and everything you own. One way to make this happen is by creating and signing a cohabitation agreement. A Solana Beach divorce attorney from Ratzer | Dobis can assist in the creation of this important legal document.

Defining a Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document/agreement entered into by two people living together who do not wish to marry. The agreement outlines an understanding between the two about financial, medical, and funerary obligations should the couple end their relationship or if one of them dies while they are still in the relationship. A cohabitation agreement should be drafted by an experienced attorney and then notarized in front of witnesses. Even though it can be agreed upon orally, it can be challenging to prove the agreement in court.

Important Items to Include in a Cohabitation Agreement

You can include just about anything you want in a cohabitation agreement. However, it is vital that you outline instructions for the following:

  • How physical property and financial assets will be divided if the relationship dissolves
  • Who will handle which expense during the duration of the relationship
  • If spousal support is provided to the partner who earns less if the relationship dissolves
  • Clear effective dates (when the agreement goes into effect and when the provisions take effect should the relationship end)

Even though you can include provisions about finances in the cohabitation agreement, it is still in your best interest to keep finances separate between you and your partner. It will make things much easier should the relationship dissolve.

What Not to Include in a Cohabitation Agreement

You might think it is a good idea to include just about every aspect of your life and relationship in a cohabitation agreement. However, there are some items that should be kept out of the agreement. One such item is how a child will be taken care of should the relationship end. It is best left up to the courts to determine how the child will be taken care of at the end of a relationship that has a cohabitation agreement.

You should also avoid adding language about child support in the agreement. Do not include provisions about how financial benefits will be handled for one person upon the death of the other. It is best to include these provisions in a last will and testament.

Call a Solana Beach Divorce Attorney Today

Are you ready to cohabitate with your partner? Do you want to ensure that everything to your name is protected should you separate? If so, it is time to speak with an experienced Solana Beach divorce attorney about your situation. Call the office of Ratzer | Dobis or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment today.

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