When a couple chooses to live together but not enter into marriage, this arrangement is called cohabitation. A cohabiting couple is not bound within a legal contract, such as a prenuptial agreement or the marriage itself. However, if a couple expects to live together long-term, they may wish to devise a contract that outlines the rights and obligations of each partner. The family law attorneys in Gainesville, FL at The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates are experienced in formulating conclusive cohabitation agreements for non-married couples.
Cohabitations Vs. Marriage
Married couples have certain legal agreements that are accessible due to the legalities surrounding a marriage. Contracts such as prenuptial agreements outline the obligations of the individuals that are entering into the marriage. Similarly, a cohabitation agreement can outline the handling of finances, properties, and assets should a couple separate. Unmarried couples may create an implied non-marital agreement, which is done without drafting a contract or conducting a direct discussion. In the event that the cohabitation couple chooses to go to court, a judge will evaluate the circumstances to determine if a valid agreement was ever truly implied. If the judge rules that an agreement was never implied between the couple, it is assumed that the parties intended to sort things out fairly. Those in relationships that involve property purchases, large sums of money, etc., may determine a non-marital cohabitation agreement to be necessary. Our attorneys in Gainesville work with couples to determine the many aspects that need to be included within the agreement, such as:
- Property accumulated during the relationship
- Property from before the relationship began
- Dispute resolution
- Property acquired by gift or inheritance
- Separation or death
What Rights Do Unmarried Couples Have?
The typical marital laws and rights that married individuals have are not provided to unmarried cohabiting couples. This makes life decisions such as dividing property difficult and unclear. Additionally, there are no financial obligations given to cohabiting couples, so items such as alimony are not applicable should the couple separate. However, a cohabitation contract can discuss obligations relating to such life events. Essentially, if a contract is not established between the couple, then there are no true enforceable rights should the couple part ways.
Is It Possible For An Unmarried Couple To Establish Rights As A Couple?
Cohabiting couples may establish their respective rights in regards to earnings, assets and properties through a cohabitation agreement. Our trusted family law firm in Gainesville, FL understands how to devise creative, exhaustive contracts that satisfy the obligations of both respective parties. The following will be considered when devising the non-marital cohabitation agreement:
- Enterprise partnerships and ventures
- Estate planning
- Medical care
- Power of attorneys
The above aspects are all deeply discussed and considered before creating the agreement. The division, acquirement and obligations relating to each aspect are based upon their own unique facts and circumstances, including all facts surrounding the non-marital relationship.
Are Cohabitation Agreements Legally Binding?
Yes. As long as your cohabitation agreement is legally drafted and executed by an attorney, it will be signed by both parties as a deed. As the contract is legally binding, it is pertinent to receive sound legal advice and assistance preparing the agreement. Failure to do so can be detrimental should the relationship end in the future, especially if a party within the relationship is financially dependent or the relationship carries children.
How A Family Law Attorney Can Help
A Gainesville family law attorney will provide both parties with legal advice and assistance in navigating the facts of the relationship. From acquiring properties to establishing a power of attorney, all areas will be explored and accounted for. For professional legal assistance in all matters of non-marital cohabitation, contact The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates.