Wheaton prenup attorney cohabitation agreement coronavirusOn March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus, is enough of a global threat to humanity that it can now be classified as a “pandemic.” As more and more events with large gatherings are getting canceled or postponed, couples planning to tie the knot may be concerned. Here is why weddings are particularly susceptible to the coronavirus and what you might want to consider doing about it, including postponing it and choosing to work on your prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement instead.

Why Weddings Are Dangerous Due to the Coronavirus

Although most people have aimed their attention on the cancellation of major events and other public gatherings, including festivals like South by Southwest and Coachella, and sporting events like the NCAA March Madness Tournament, not enough focus has been placed on weddings. Weddings are particularly dangerous when it comes to the coronavirus because:

  • Most weddings have large amounts of people crowded into relatively small places.

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Wheaton cohabitation agreement attorneyThere 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:

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DuPage County family law attorney for cohabitation agreementsCouples that choose to live together while remaining unmarried are becoming more and more common in today's society. While there are a wide variety of reasons why a couple may not want to establish a legal partnership through marriage, they may wish to create a legal agreement that will protect their rights. A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding contract between partners, and it can establish property rights and describe how certain matters should be handled if the couple decides to break up. In any relationship, it can be difficult to consider a future without the other partner, but protecting yourself and planning for your future through a cohabitation agreement could help avoid unnecessary stress.

How Can a Cohabitation Agreement Be Helpful?

While some states recognize common-law marriage, in which a couple is considered to be legally married if they live together for a certain number of years, Illinois does not provide unmarried couples with the rights afforded to married spouses. While a prenuptial agreement may be created to help couples entering into marriage protect their assets or address what should happen in the case of divorce, these agreements only apply to married spouses. For those reside together and do not wish to be married, a cohabitation agreement can offer similar protections.

 

As with a prenuptial agreement, discussing the topic of a cohabitation agreement can be an awkward conversation between a happy couple. However, making decisions about how to address property, financial situations, and other issues in the event of a breakup can help avoid disputes in the future.

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Posted on in Cohabitation

cohabitation, Wheaton family law attorneysIt has been a source of confusion to the older generation that many young people in the United States have chosen either to not marry or to wait on marriage until later in life. It is true that there are some advantages to marrying aside from the obvious ones, such as streamlined tax preparation, but for many, there are perks to remaining single. Besides, many argue that they can obtain the best of both worlds via cohabitation, as long as an appropriate cohabitation agreement is signed and executed, so that both partners’ assets and rights are protected.

Do I Need A Cohabitation Agreement?

Not every cohabitating couple needs an agreement. Some do quite well without any kind of legal documentation of their relationship. The tradeoff, however, is that no assets of any kind may commingle, and one has no legal recourse regarding their partner’s assets if they predecease the other. Illinois does not recognize cohabitating couples as having any kind of legal relationship unless they have a valid cohabitation agreement. While being married may not be a couple’s first choice, if they want any legal rights to the fruits of their relationship, they must take definitive action.

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Posted on in Cohabitation

cohabiting, Wheaton family law attorneysA common issue in high asset and complex divorces is one spouse's right to share in the business interests developed and owned by the other spouse. These issues may be complicated if the parties had a longstanding relationship that existed prior to marriage. Unfortunately for the less-wealthy spouse, Illinois courts generally do not take such nonmarital time into account when awarding property and spousal support in a divorce proceeding.

Court Affirms Different Rules for Opposite-Sex, Same-Sex Couples

A recent Illinois appeals court decision illustrates the uphill climb many estranged spouses face. This case involves a husband and wife who were only married for seven months but had a prior 13-year relationship. The husband owned several fast-food franchises and acquired a number of other significant assets over the years, including “multiple homes and motor vehicles.” The wife, in contrast, had “modest” financial resources, according to court records.

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