SHOULD I CREATE A COHABITATION AGREEMENT?
These days, many couples live together for a matter of months or even years before getting married, or they may choose to never marry at all. However, even if the idea of marriage as a social construct has fallen out of fashion for some people, the legal framework of marriage offers some unique protections that cohabitation does not. If you and your partner have lived together for some time, you have probably gathered a number of possessions. In this case, it is wise to create a written agreement about property division, since the law offers very few protections to property rights for unmarried couples.
This agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, in that it outlines predetermined guidelines for property division should you and your partner ever break up. If you choose to forego creating this agreement, you may have to contend with a lengthy, expensive legal battle to keep your things or get proper value out of large pieces of property you and your partner bought together.
Your agreement should outline a number of specific areas, such as how your income and the income of your partner will be shared or kept separate, or how you will assign ownership to any assets that you acquire during your relationship.
This type of agreement is particularly important if you and your partner choose to buy a home. Here in California, that is no small feat, so it is crucial that you outline property rights for both parties and ensure that you establish who keeps the home and what kind of buyout the other party can expect if you and your partner ever break up.
If you are ready to create an agreement that will protect you and your partner and remove many layers of conflict in the relationship, don’t wait to consult with an experienced attorney who can walk you through the process of creating the agreement and ensure that your rights are considered and protected.
Source: FindLaw, “Cohabitation Property Rights for Unmarried Couples,” accessed July 05, 2017