With the growing amount of cohabiting couples in the United States, more
and more dating couples want to protect their assets in case of a break
up. When a couple moves in together, whether or not they are married,
they may choose to share finances, a home, and other properties with each
other. In many cases, these couples commit to each other much like a married
couple would, just without the license and the ceremony. If things shouldn’t
work out for the love birds, they want to be sure that they won’t
be cheated out of their possessions by the other partner.
Therefore, many of these men and women are signing up to create a
cohabitation agreement. These are similar to
prenuptial agreements, in that they detail how assets would be divided should the couple fail
to resolve differences in an argument. Just like a prenup, these cohabitation
agreements are legally-binding contracts that are drawn up by an attorney.
They address any
child custody issues, protect each person’s
assets, and determine support obligations. In a poll by the American Academy
of Matrimonial Lawyers, 39 percent of all divorce attorneys say a rise
in cohabitation agreements between live-in couples over the past five years.
70 percent of all couples who offer to create these agreements said that
they served a majority of heterosexual couples, rather than homosexual
couples who are not legally permitted to get married. At present, only
51 percent of all adults get married, but the other 49 percent are not
normally celibate and single. They comprise a group of cohabiting men
and women who think it’s easier to spend life together without ever
having a wedding ceremony. However, about 1,600 divorce attorneys polled
by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in their survey say that
they have dealt with cohabiting couple issues after break-ups.
If you are worried about the future of your possessions in lieu of a break-up,
family lawyer and draw up a cohabitation agreement right now!