Some couples decide that marriage is not right for them (or not right for them yet) but still live together, have children, buy a home and make joint financial decisions. This is happening increasingly with millenials who are waiting longer to marry or deciding not to marry at all. A cohabitation agreement (or “cohab”) is a contract that couples can use to define financial structures, responsibilities and agreements that will apply to their relationship. If the relationship ends, the contract provides structure for how financials obligations, real property division and other assets and liabilities will be addressed. These discussions often happen between couples that live together but in the absence of a written cohabitation agreement many non-married couples are left with unclear and challenging legal options if they break up. They are not able to avail themselves of the family court for property division or support issues, despite having potentially made significant joint decisions in their relationship; and they do not easily fit into a civil court system that is difficult to navigate and handles property issues without considering the relationship aspect of a couple’s history.
Living with someone or planning to move in? Contact us to talk about if a cohab agreement would be wise for you and your partner.