What is Cohabitation?
With the divorce rate still hovering at around 50%, marriage comes with a lot of uncertainty. Even couples married for decades are divorcing at rates reaching all-time highs. A divorce is costly, time-consuming and stressful. Why not just live together with your partner, without getting married?
Many couples are going this route nowadays. They are waiting longer and longer to walk down the aisle, if they get married at all. Maybe they do not want to go down the same route as their parents, friends or other family members. They do not want to have to endure a nasty divorce if their relationship should end down the road.
As such, many couples decide cohabitation. They live together as a couple without being legally married. However, they can still engage in the same activities. They can open bank accounts together and purchase houses, cars, and other items together. They can even start a family if they want.
In these cases, though, having some sort of agreement in place is ideal. This agreement will state who gets what if the relationship were to turn sour. Without such an agreement, you could be left with nothing, since you were never legally married.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is similar to a couple entering a prenuptial agreement before getting married. It outlines what will happen should you and your partner break up. It can address financial, personal, and family issues. For example, if you two own a house, who will get it? What happens to the money in your joint bank account? Who gets the vehicles?
The agreement must be fair and entered into with the full knowledge of both parties. You cannot coerce or trick your partner into signing the agreement. Otherwise, the agreement becomes invalid.
Pros and Cons of Cohabitation
Should you consider cohabitation? Here are the benefits to consider:
- You will be with your partner all the time, just like you are married. You will have someone with you and you can easily spend time together.
- Financial benefits. You both live in one house rather than two, which saves money. You can save up for a vacation, large purchase, or even a wedding.
There are also some disadvantages, such as the following:
- You might quickly find out that you and your partner are just two different people. Even small quirks can create distress in a relationship over time.
- Money issues. In some partnerships, one person ends up paying all the bills, while the other struggles. Without a cohabitation agreement in place, there may also be issues regarding assets if the relationship ends.
Contact a Family Law Attorney Today
The effects of a divorce can be devastating, which is why many people choose to cohabitation rather than tie the knot. If you accumulate assets while living with your partner, an agreement can help you avoid costly legal battles.
Whether you plan cohabitation for just a few months before getting married or plan to just live together instead of getting married, Brooklyn family law attorney Theodore Alatsas ESQ can help you protect your assets. To learn more about your legal options, contact our office at (718) 233-2903 today.