Cohabitation Agreements

For unmarried partners, Cohabitation Agreements are similar to a Prenup; it spells out how to handle a variety of issues in a relationship. For example, it outlines the following:

  • Who owned what property before entering the relationships.
  • How expenses are to be handled.
  • How income earned while in the relationship will be handled.
  • How finances and purchasing decisions will be made.
  • Each party’s responsibilities with respect to financial expenses associated with living with one another, including specifying each party’s responsibility for his or her individual debt.
  • Defines the terms of a potential breakup and how all the assets, such as life insurance, would be partitioned.
  • Determines how real estate would be valued, which is often the largest single asset a couple may own together.

A cohabitation agreement establishes each party’s legal rights and responsibilities and is a legal document that serves as a precaution to protect each party from litigation in the event the partners decide that they no longer wish to live together. This document allows both parties to regulate their property and designate what will happen to the property in the future. It also permits both parties to make arrangements regarding specific assets that they acquired before deciding to live together and/or assets that they anticipate they will acquire during the period of their cohabitation. Most importantly, if children are involved, it sets forth an agreement regarding child-related and parenting issues.