Definition of Cohabitation

Cohabitation exists if two individuals choose to live together and merge their lives, residence and property without getting legally married. Cohabitation has become increasingly common for couples who do not want the legal or social commitment to marriage. It is also a common arrangement for couples who want to try to live together before getting married.

Couples who cohabitate may also choose to formalize their cohabitation with a cohabitation agreement. A cohabitation agreement is a written contract which outlines the mutual rights and obligations of each person with respect to their financial obligations, joint and separate property and expectations. It can also help couples who want to keep their assets separate or who want to clearly outline their agreement not to provide any post-dissolution support to one another. A cohabitation agreement can also specify how the partner may act as the guardian of the other if one partner becomes incapacitated.

Cohabitation agreements can also become increasingly important if the couple has children. It can clarify how children should be supported and the legal custody arrangements for the child. Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about your cohabitation agreement, how a cohabitation arrangement could affect your assets and property, or to ensure that your partner has a right to inherit your property after your death.

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