Johnson Attorneys Are Experienced With Cohabitation Agreements

Johnson Attorneys Are Experts In Cohabitation Agreements

Bringing up a discussion about a Cohabitation Agreement may be uncomfortable for many couples, but consider the peace of mind you will both have if something should happen in the future. It will be best if you are both on the same page. The complex set of laws that pertain to a legal partnership should be explained to both parties by a competent attorney who understands them.

What Are Cohabitation Agreement Laws?

When couples live together, but don’t get married problems can still arise should they go their separate ways or if one of them passes. Many cohabiting couples live like married couples by sharing expenses, having or raising children together or combining their income to buy food, personal property and real estate. However happy you may be, you must know that there is no common law marriage in California and unmarried couples are subject to cohabitation agreement laws.

One way to protect yourselves is to establish a cohabitation agreement. This can protect both partners if one should die or they split up. Without a predetermined agreement, a bitter battle over property and finances could be costly to both sides, should they split up.

couple packing up box of belongings

When to Create a Cohabitation Agreement

Just like a prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement or “partnership agreement” sets out specific terms agreed upon between the partners to protect assets, set expectations, validate sacrifices and reduce financial exposure.

Some examples might include the following:

  • Allocating income and expenses between partners: Who pays the bills? Are wages separate? Are responsibilities equal?
  • How will property acquired before the relationship be allocated? Will property obtained during the relationship such as stocks, vehicles, debts, retirement plans, mortgage, property become joint or remain separate?
  • If children are adopted or are born using alternate reproductive strategies will both partners be legal parents?
  • Does the couple want to provide post breakup support or palimony (support paid to an unmarried partner)?
  • Is one partner raising the children and making career sacrifices in support of the other’s career? If the relationship is over, will this person be entitled to financial assistance or educational support?
  • If a home is bought during the relationship, are both parties going to have a financial interest in it or is this separate property?
  • If and when one of the partners dies, does the other partner have a claim to any inheritance?

Timing is Everything

Ideally, a cohabitation agreement is established prior to a couple living together.

It may not be crucial to have one if you and your partner are just testing the waters to see if you are compatible, but as the relationship progresses these types of agreements help establish expectations and ensure that both partners are happy and protected if things don’t work out between them. It may not be very romantic to suggest you and your partner create a cohabitation agreement, but the best time to establish one is when you trust and love each other to avoid problems in the future.

Call (949) 942-8784 to request a private consultation with a cohabitation agreement lawyer.

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