Couples & Cohabitation Agreements – A Match Made in Heaven
Chalk it up to the evolving goals and desires of the millennials if you wish, but the truth is that more young couple choose to shack up rather than put a ring on it these days.
Living together doesn’t carry the same legal commitments as marriage, but it’s still a level of commitment and because of that, many live-in couples are considering cohabitation agreements.
In the world of prenups and postnups, pop culture has dubbed cohabitation agreements “no-nups.”
A cohabitation agreement is among a couple that lives together. It enables each person to protect themselves from unnecessary costs and litigation should they choose to end their relationship at some point. The agreement can be used to identify property rights, mutual financial support during the relationship or after it ends, child care, and they can outline how each person will deal with debt if they break up. It also can establish who would act as a guardian if one partner is incapacitated, and provide the right to make emergency medical decisions on behalf of your significant other.
Cohabitation agreements also provide a way for the couple to outline in advance who will keep specific assets and what will happen to assets that were purchased while together, should they choose to terminate their relationship. This agreement is intended to bind both parties.
“Like pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements often get a bad rap for not being romantic, or for signaling a relationship that’s on the rocks,” says John Griffith. “That’s not the case. It’s a responsible thing to do.”
Mapping out how to handle property and financial issues when your relationship is strong and you’re in a happy place means decisions and agreements are likely to be reached logically, instead of emotionally.
“Waiting until the unfortunate event of a breakup when emotions are raw isn’t a great time to discuss who’s going to take on the credit card balance, who gets the living room suit, or who takes over the payments on the car you purchased last year,” Griffith says.
Cohabitation agreements are recommended if one person in the relationship:
- Possesses a great deal of assets or has a large inheritance
- Has a large amount of debt
- Put a career on hold to raise children
- Wants to provide compensation for their significant other, who acts as their caregiver
Investing in a cohabitation agreement is potentially far more economical than enduring a court battle to hash out the details following a breakup. Please call our office today for a consultation if you would like to learn more about cohabitation agreements.