Should I sign a contract when moving in with a partner? | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Should I sign a contract when moving in with a partner?

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Many relationships take their natural course of action and advance to an engagement and then to marriage. Some of those relationships could involve the couple cohabiting prior to getting married. Many will ask if it is necessary to sign some sort of contract if moving in together before to marriage. This is a very important question.

Many couples that wind up getting married will sign a prenuptial agreement to protect the assets brought into the marriage by each individual. This agreement is typically more common when one person has more assets than the other coming into the marriage.

If you decide to move in with your significant other before getting married, or with no plans to ever get married, you should still seek to protect your assets. This can be done by signing a partnership agreement. It is very similar to a prenuptial agreement as it will protect the assets of both individuals. This contract should be signed prior to the two moving in together.

Most partnership agreements will address the following questions:

  • What if one person cannot pay his or her share of the bills?
  • What if one person wants to move out of the house?
  • How are the expenses allocated?
  • Who has ownership of the furniture in the house?
  • How should the title be written (tenants in common or joint tenants who have right of survivorship)?

Prenuptial agreements and other types of contracts involving your relationship are very important for both people in a relationship. It's always best to protect your individual assets, even if you are not married yet.

Source: The Chicago Tribune, "Should unmarried couples sign a contract before moving in together?," April 03, 2018

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