Are you planning to live with your partner, but not get married? Or, are you currently living with your partner, but aren’t married? Many Americans live together as a couple, but haven’t gotten married. Marriage can grant both parties in a couple certain important rights that can include inheritance rights, rights to property should the relationship end, and other rights regarding shared assets. If you are planning to live together and not get married or are currently living together, but aren’t married, do you know what your rights are? For example, do you know who gets to keep the apartment if you are renting? (It might be the person on the lease.) Who gets to keep the pet if you both have a pet? (It might be the person who signed the adoption form.) If you share debts or assets like a car, who gets to keep what? Should one of you get seriously ill, do you have the right to make major medical decisions for your partner? If one of you passes away, what will happen to individual property or shared property? If you help your partner pay for a major asset he or she owns, like a car or home, what are your rights to this asset? A cohabitation agreement, when properly worded and drafted, can make all of these issues clear. Ballard Law, PLLC is a family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to assist you. In order for a cohabitation agreement to be strongest and enforceable, each party entering into the agreement should hire their own counsel. This means you and your partner should each have your own lawyer. Ballard Law, PLLC is a family law firm that may be able to answer your questions about your rights should you plan to live with your partner, or if you are living with your partner and want to plan to protect your rights and interests, Ballard Law, PLLC may be able to help.
Common Issues That Can Be Addressed in a Cohabitation Agreement
A cohabitation agreement can address a range of issues, including division of property should you break up, division of debts, division of bank accounts, pet custody, and more. What you and your partner will include in your cohabitation agreement will depend on your unique needs. Ballard Law, PLLC is a family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to assist you with drafting a cohabitation agreement that will meet your individual needs.
- A cohabitation agreement can make clear which property is separate property and which is shared. It can also make clear how property acquired during the course of the relationship will be handled. If you plan to buy a car or home together, a cohabitation agreement can address any concerns that might arise.
- Bills and Household Expenses. A cohabitation agreement can make clear which party is responsible for which bills. Will you have a shared bank account to address shared bills, or will bills be split one by one?
- Pets are considered property. If you have a pet together or both care for a pet, your cohabitation agreement can make clear who will have custody of the pet should you split and what rights to visitation the other party might have should you break up.
- Advanced Directives. If you or your partner should become seriously ill, and you are not married, the right of either party to make major medical decisions for the other may be limited. An advanced medical directive can clearly appoint your partner to make these decisions for you. These directives can also grant your partner the ability to make financial decisions on your behalf should you be too ill to make these decisions yourself.
- What happens to your property should you pass away? Do you want your partner to inherit it? If you are not married, the property might go to your next of kin and not your partner. A cohabitation agreement can make clear your wishes.
These are just some of the issues that a cohabitation agreement can address. Living together comes with shared financial responsibilities. No couple likes to talk about what might happen should the relationship end, but a cohabitation agreement is so much more than that. It can offer your partner important protections should you become sick and can ensure that both of you are protected should the unthinkable happen. Have questions about how you can create a strong cohabitation agreement that can protect your rights? Ballard Law, PLLC is a family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that can help. Our firm can review your situation, identify your individual needs, and assist you with drafting a cohabitation agreement that can work for you. Reach out to our lawyers today or contact USAttorneys.com to get matched with one of the family lawyers at Ballard Law.