Cohabitation Agreements

South Bay Family Law Attorney
Cohabitation Agreements Between Unmarried Partners

The Law Offices of Thomas M. Polinger can draft or review cohabitation agreements to keep assets separate and clarify the obligations of each person. This contract protects property and simplifies legal issues in the event the two of you part ways.

As with a prenuptial agreement, you should have the advice of a lawyer before signing a cohabitation agreement. Thomas Polinger has practiced in California family law for 30 years in the South Bay area and Los Angeles County. Arrange a consultation at 310-697-8868.

Cohabitating, but Not Married

A cohabitation agreement makes sense for any couples who are living together but choose not to marry or are not yet ready for marriage. In many ways it is a hybrid of a property settlement agreement and a lease agreement:

  • It establishes that separately owned assets will stay separate.
  • It could spell out how to deal with jointly purchased assets, such as a car or home.
  • It clarifies who pays for rent, utilities and household expenses, and can stipulate matters such as whether the other party can have pets or roommates.

A cohabitation agreement is not the same as a domestic partnership. A cohabitation agreement primarily deals with personal property and co-tenant issues but can be expanded by the consent of the parties to encompass many varied and specific issues which may arise in a non-marital relationship.

Many people assume that living together without getting married simplifies the relationship of the parties. This is not necessarily so. There is a large and complex legal framework for married couples, but very little law and direction for those who choose not to marry. Since the lack of a legal framework creates so much legal uncertainty, it makes practical and legal sense to have a legal agreement to define the rights and obligations of the cohabitating couple.

For example, if two adults purchase a home together the law is very specific on how the property is divided if the parties are married. If the parties are not married and they cannot agree of if they do not have an agreement, the legal remedy to divide the property is both costly and time-consuming. If the parties have a written agreement, they both know their respective rights and obligations in the event the property is sold or transferred.

Without anything in writing, there could be nasty, expensive legal wrangling in the event of a break-up, and you could come out on the short end. Mr. Polinger will help draft an agreement and counsel you in order to memorialize your agreement and to protect your best interests without overshadowing your relationship.

Contact us today at 310-697-8868 to schedule a meeting at our Hermosa Beach office.