Should I create a cohabitation agreement?

By |2022-04-04T18:50:35+00:0005 Jul 2017|Categories: Family Law|


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

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
Go to Top