Westborough Cohabitation Agreement Lawyers
When a couple marries, that entitles each of them to certain protections by the state where property can be divided regardless of whose name the property is in. A Court can issue orders relating to who stays in a home and who pays for it during and after a divorce. If you are not married, you do not get those same types of protections.
Cohabitation is simply when two or more people decide to live together without being married, regardless of whether it is a romantic relationship or not. When an unmarried couple chooses cohabitation, they aren’t given the same protections as a married couple. Additionally, Massachusetts doesn’t allow ‘common law marriage,’ which means that no matter how long two people live together, even if they think of themselves as married, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will not recognize them as legally married nor provide them the protections a married couple has.
Even though the state will not afford you many protections when you’re not married, you could protect yourself through the use of a cohabitation agreement, which would be enforceable as a contract agreement. A Westborough cohabitation agreement lawyer could help you formulate an effective cohabitation agreement to safeguard your rights involving the division of property purchased during your relationship, who is responsible for payment or rent or bills if you’ve only put them in one person’s name, and a host of other things that would be easier to decide while you’re getting along rather than during a break up. To guarantee your financial and property interests are dealt with according to your wishes in the event of a split or death when you’re living together but not married, allow our attorneys to help you draft a cohabitation agreement that meets the unique needs of your situation, applying what we have learned with over 25-years of exclusive family law experience.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
When a couple marries, they enter into a legally binding contract that subjects them to state laws that determine what happens if one spouse is incapacitated in the hospital, passes away, or the spouses’ divorce. However, cohabitating couples aren’t granted these same legal boundaries as they aren’t governed as a contractual relationship.
With no binding arrangement, it may be much simpler for cohabitating couples to split than the alternative of a legal divorce, but there may also be considerable difficulties if the couple owns property together or has any other type of joint assets, especially if only held in one of their names. For many unmarried couples in Westborough, a cohabitation agreement lawyer could provide the creative solutions necessary to ensure each party’s interests are protected.
When a Cohabitation Agreement Could Be Necessary
Situations in which an unmarried couple may wish to work with a family attorney to enter into a cohabitation agreement include when:
- The couple has real estate that was purchased either individually or jointly;
- The couple entered into a rental contract;
- One of the partners pays the lion’s share of the household costs;
- One of the partners financially supported the other partner while completing school;
- You purchase a pet while living together.
If a couple plans to move in together in the near future, a cohabitation agreement may be vital. By thoroughly documenting the rights, responsibilities, and property interests of both partners beforehand, unmarried couples can protect themselves in case the relationship doesn’t work out. These types of agreements also help avoid drawn-out lawsuits and disputes in the unfortunate circumstance of their relationship ending that have no other option but to file a vague complaint in equity. Our extraordinary legal team can help identify important elements in a cohabitation agreement and represent you during the negotiation process so you are protected in the future.
The Components of a Westborough Cohabitation Agreement
An attorney in Westborough can advise an unmarried couple on the specific provisions they should include in their cohabitation agreement based on their individual situation. Generally, cohabitation agreements can include components such as:
- If expenses will be split between the couple and in what percentages;
- The process to be followed in the event of a property dispute between them;
- How assets already owned by the couple should be managed (i.e. vehicles, bank accounts, real estate, etc.);
- How the ownership and control of new assets will be managed; and
- The process to be followed for the distribution of assets if the couple ends their relationship.
Furthermore, if an unmarried couple decides to buy a home together, especially if the home is only being put in one person’s name, the cohabitation agreement should include additional provisions regarding the ownership and maintenance of this home. These provisions could include buy-out rights for each partner, how the property would be appraised, each partner’s percentage of ownership, and what happens to the house if one or both partners decides to end the relationship.
Speak with an Experienced Cohabitation Agreement Attorney
A comprehensive cohabitation agreement could save both partners considerable time, financial, and emotional resources if the relationship ends. We know that thinking about the end of your relationship can be difficult when making the decision to move in with your partner, but planning ahead for any possibility could help ensure you and your partner are more comfortable with this big step in your relationship. If you are moving in with your partner in Westborough, a cohabitation agreement lawyer can help the two of you discuss the future and protect each other’s rights and best interests. Contact us in our Westborough office to learn more about these types of contracts.