A cohabitation contract is a legally binding arrangement made between an unmarried couple who have chosen to live together. The contract outlines the financial responsibilities of each party as well as rights to property owned both before the agreement was made and those properties attained afterward. To obtain this type of contract one needs only to draw up the document in a legal fashion, have witnesses, and both parties agree to the terms and sign it.
The purpose of a cohabitation contract is to protect an unmarried couple against certain financial risks and costs that a married couple may be protected against. In many ways this contract acts like a prenuptial agreement and is a legally binding document if it is ruled so by a court. A cohabitation agreement is to aid in each persons understanding of what their responsibilities are as both a partner and living companion and make them legally responsible for it. Having this type of arrangement can avoid hassles if the relationship ends, as well as to aid in matters such as attaining a mortgage, and allocating financial support. A cohabitation agreement may not help an unmarried couple pay less for bills such as property taxes however and such issues need to be addressed within the arrangement.
In order to write up a cohabitation agreement one must outline the financial divisions of the estate, living expenses, child support if there are children involved, as well as to clarify disclosure. Samples of this type of contract can be found from a variety of sources including Internet research and it is best to look at all of the matters that a typical contract covers when writing your own. In order for the agreement to be legally binding there must be witnesses present when it is signed although in different parts of the world this doesn’t always make the document admissible in court. The best way to ensure that your agreement is legally binding is to consult a lawyer, particularly one with experience in family law, or estate law.
When writing a cohabitation agreement be sure to cover all items that may be an issue later, especially issues relating to property allocation if the partnership ends. These types of agreements can aid greatly in ensuring that both parties entering into the cohabitation fully understand what their responsibilities are in matters such as financial requirements and support for their spouse both during the term of the arrangement and potentially after it has ended as well.