Cohabitation means living together with another individual, and a lot of the time this cohabitation can create new challenges that you might not have thought of when you were just dating. When you’re dealing with the cohabitation you’re now merging incomes, you’re paying a common rent or mortgage together, you’ve got bills and finances. There are a lot of questions that come along with that. Who’s going to pay for what? Who’s responsible for what? What are your expectations?
If you are living with someone and you’re not married, you have different rights under the law, so you want to try to protect as many of those rights as possible. Imagine that you’ve passed away and your partner who you had been living with for 20 years suddenly has no rights because they’re not recognized as anyone but a roommate. You can mitigate that risk by having a cohabitation agreement.
It’s definitely a client’s choice and right to determine if they’re going to be married or not, if they want to have a long-term life partner, whether that’s marriage or cohabitating, that’s not the issue. The issue is what does the law recognize and what happens if that relationship ends. When you have a cohabitation agreement, you’re defining what’s going to happen for you in your partnership in the events of ended the relationship, in the event of a death, in the event of tremendous debt.
You can speak to all of these things and they’re clear. That way it saves you time, and expense, and the heartache and turmoil of having to deal with litigation later. If you find yourself going through a change within your family, reach out to us, we’re here to help.