Cohabitation between unmarried partners is on the rise across the United States. Many couples are choosing to live together without formally getting married, and those who do want to get married often see cohabitation as the first step towards marriage.
While there are certain benefits to this, the legal and financial side of the equation is not so straightforward. Many cohabitating couples don’t realize that their arrangement does not equip them with the same benefits and assumptions that come with a legal marriage. For example, each person’s property is their own, neither party is entitled to support, and financial agreements that are “in the air” are typically not legally enforceable.
This is where a cohabitation agreement can come into play. For this post, we’re exploring cohabitation agreements in California and how they allow couples who live together but aren’t necessarily married to establish formal agreements and some of the legal rights that married couples are automatically granted.
What Can a Cohabitation Agreement Cover?
Cohabitation agreements are designed to deal with financial matters, as well as those involving property. Two individuals that live together can establish joint vs separate property, define how newly acquired property will be regarded, and more.
A cohabitation agreement could also help individuals establish rights over matters such as survivor benefits, the right to sue in the event of wrongful death, and the ability to make important medical decisions on behalf of the other party.
Cohabitation agreements are complex legal documents that need to be tailored to the specifics of each situation. If you need help drafting or implementing a cohabitation agreement in CA, or have any questions about any matter involving family law in CA, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Law Offices of James P. White.
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