There are all sorts of reasons that couples may decide to live together without getting married. They might be opposed to marriage on some moral grounds, they could just want to try living together first before they officially “take the plunge,” or perhaps they simply do not want to deal with all the complications that come with marriage—from an overwhelming wedding to an array of legal and religious considerations. Whatever the case may be, there are plenty of people out there who cohabitate as unmarried partners. Unfortunately, living together does not grant you the same rights you would have as married spouses. In order to have some similar legal protections as you would if you were married, you would need to develop and sign a cohabitation agreement.
Cohabitation Agreement: Defined
A cohabitation agreement is a legal arrangement agreed to by both parties who live together. Couples who feel strongly enough about each other that they decide to live together may run the risk of losing some of the things that are protected through marriage. By signing a cohabitation agreement, a couple can receive similar protections for their property and finances that marriage offers.
Reasons to Get a Cohabitation Agreement
As more couples are cohabiting before or instead of marriage, the idea of cohabitation agreements is becoming more appealing. Here are some major reasons to consider getting a cohabitation agreement if you live with your romantic partner:
Legal Protections—A cohabitation agreement is a way of getting rights similar to a married couple without actually being married. Some couples refuse to get married and might even only be considering marriage due to the legal protections it provides; with a cohabitation agreement, your finances and property will be protected no matter what happens in your relationship and living situation.
Clearly Defined Responsibilities—By signing one of these agreements, you and your partner will be able to fully define your relationship and what is expected from each of you. You will determine who pays for what and who does what through the course of the relationship, ultimately helping you both live better together.
An Objective Plan—By hashing out the details of your relationship and living arrangements while you are clear-headed and highly dedicated to one another, you will be able to develop a plan for your relationship and living arrangements that is both fair and helpful, even if you two decide to break things off.
Who Gets What—This agreement will help you determine who has ownership over what property, including vehicles, houses, or even pets. While together as a romantic couple, you two will probably share ownership of just about everything, but if you ever do break up, it will be good to have the ownership of these things already worked out.
Money Matters—You might be considering commingling your funds in a joint account or taking out loans together. With a cohabitation agreement, you will be able to assign financial obligations such that no matter what happens in your relationship, you both will have the resources you need.
Contact a DuPage County Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer
If you are planning to live together with your partner without getting married, it is worth deliberating on a cohabitation agreement. These legal contracts have the potential to be just as complex as any number of legal concerns related to both marriage and divorce. In order to get the proper guidance, you should enlist the assistance of a knowledgeable Wheaton, IL family law attorney. Give Andrew Cores Family Law Group a call at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. We will develop an agreement between you and your partner that benefits you both.