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What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

Cohabitation agreements are absolutely amazing and majorly underutilized tools for unmarried individuals who are living together (cohabiting).

People may not want to get married for very valid reasons – and I respect that, regardless of the “why”.

These unmarried partners, however, are not extended the same rights and protections as legally married spouses.

Unlike prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements apply strictly in anticipation of the relationship ending and individuals leaving the shared home. However they do share the purpose of creating expectations when it comes to finances and property.

What Can Be Included In A Cohabitation Agreement?

Cohab agreements should focus on the financial aspects of the relationship and how things should be divided when the relationship ends, whether by mutual agreement or the death of one partner.

Topics for discussion & inclusion are:

  • Income

  • Household expenses & home upkeep (food, housing, utilities, maintenance)

  • Acquiring property jointly and/or separately & how to divide it in a split

  • Whether & how pensions and retirement assets should be shared

  • Whether estate planning documents will be created

  • Adoption or reproductive options for having children

  • Whether both parties will be the legal parents of any children

  • Division of child care obligations


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