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Cohabitation Agreements

Why You Need a Family Law Attorney in Menlo Park

Cohabitation agreements fall under the non-marital sector of family law practice. However, they may still require the attention of a professional family law attorney. In fact, couples who live together but are not married often face many of the same issues when the time comes to separate; issues concerning the division of assets, property rights, and even child support. Without an established cohabitation agreement, it can be extremely difficult for some couples to separate amicably. In some cases, a conflict of interest can turn into a heated battle over assets that requires lengthy time in court. In order to avoid complications like this, some couples opt for a cohabitation agreement, which defines the rights and obligations of each party.

Establishing a Cohabitation Agreement

Cohabitation agreements are well suited for couples who share money and / or property but who don’t want to get married. These agreements allow couples to establish how matters related to property purchased together, inheritances, personal assets, etc. will be handled in the event of a breakup.

Things to consider when creating a cohabitation agreement include:

  • Whether or not the couple will share income and expenses
  • How to manage shared bank accounts and credit cards
  • How assets will be divided if the couple separates
  • What process will be used to amicably resolve disputes during the breakup
  • How newly acquired assets will be owned / shared

The cohabitation agreement can include agreements concerning real estate, support payments, income, expenses, and liability for debt. It can even address how to handle shared property in the event one cohabiting partner passes away. When a long-term relationship ends, the couple will need to divide the property they’ve accumulated together over the years. The easiest and most amicable way to do so is if a cohabitation agreement exists. With this document in place, the couple can avoid arguments over who gets what. Our firm can discuss your legal needs at one of our office locations in Menlo Park and San Ramon.