Using Cohabitation Agreements to Protect Your Relationship Rights Outside Marriage
Not every couple decides to become legally married. When a couple cohabitates, they may accumulate valuable property together.
Unlike married people, unmarried couples are not given specific legal advantages and protections. However, couples can draft agreements that spell out their property rights.
If the couple separates, an agreement determines what happens to the mutually-owned assets. This is particularly vital if the couple purchases land or home together. Couples who do not co-own much property may not need this type of agreement, however.
In this guide, we’ll discuss when you might want to form a cohabitation agreement and how to do it.
Important Features of Cohabitation Agreements
Without a cohabitation agreement, you may have a hard time dividing up shared assets fairly in the face of a breakup. While the relationship is strong, it is useful to draft and sign an agreement that works for both of you.
Cohabitation agreements are customizable. Because of this, they can be written to meet the specific needs of you and your partner.
Many cohabitation agreements include certain standard elements, such as:
- The ways in which certain assets will be owned
- How income is distributed or shared
- How new assets should be bought or paid for
- Guidance for the management of shared credit cards and bank accounts
- Information regarding shared insurance policies
- Instructions for distribution of property following a separation
- Dispute resolution guidelines
Writing the terms of such an agreement before problems arise is critical. Solving disputes and arguments about property rights during a breakup is difficult.
Real Estate in Cohabitation Agreements
If you and your partner own real estate together, the cohabitation agreement should address this issue. Resolving property rights issues regarding real estate is especially difficult.
When you draft a cohabitation agreement, make sure to take your ownership rights into account. An adequate relationship agreement should discuss the following:
- How ownership of the home is listed
- The percentage of the house that each person owns
- Appropriate appraisal methods in the case of a separation
- Buyout rights, if needed
- Division of the property after separation
- Eviction and habitation options
For help drafting a beneficial cohabitation agreement, contact a skilled attorney. A legal professional can help you draft an agreement that protects your property rights.
The term “palimony” refers to ongoing support payments between unmarried ex-partners. The term does not carry any legal significance. Ex-partners who were not married are not required to financially support each other. This can be changed by writing support requirements into a cohabitation agreement.
Sometimes, drafting these guidelines helps to avoid tense and emotionally difficult decisions later. If you need help deciding if partner support makes sense for you, contact a lawyer.
A legal professional will help you draft an agreement that protects your best interests.
Reach Out to Gucciardo Family Law
When you need the best legal representation in Michigan, look no further than Gucciardo Family Law. Our skilled family law attorneys have years of experience helping families through tough times. We will help draft a cohabitation agreement that fully protects your property rights. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
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