Couples Who Live Together May Benefit from Cohabitation Agreement

July 2, 2018

Living with an opposite or same sex partner without marriage might seem like an easy, no- strings-attached arrangement, but it’s a big step both emotionally and legally.

Most couples who move in together are so focused on the benefits of their living together that they don’t take the time to talk through the financial and legal implications. If they end up splitting up, they can find themselves in a financial and legal bind. Disputes over assets and any children they have together are common.

To protect themselves, a growing number of today’s modern couples have a cohabitation agreement drawn up. These so-called “living together” agreements do not necessarily cover who does the cooking or cleaning but spell out each partner’s obligations with respect to joint and separate property ownership, joint finances, and care for their children.

Cohabitation agreements can clarify intentions and expectations regarding property ownership as well as any investments a couple makes together. They can also cover items such as who pays for household expenses as well as determine in advance a method for dissolution of the relationship, such as lawyer-assisted mediation.

With regards to timing, it’s never too late to get a cohabitation agreement. They can be prepared before moving in together or drawn up at any time during the relationship. The partners should hire separate lawyers before signing the final document and be prepared to review it periodically and update it as needed.

Breaking up may be hard to do, but it can be easier – much easier – if the terms of the financial settlement and care for the children have been established and agreed upon in advance.

Allen, Glassman & Schatz, LLC