In recent years the numbers of unmarried couples cohabitating has increased dramatically. According to the Office of National Statistics the number of unmarried or cohabitating couples has doubled from 1996 to 2012. In 2012 2.9 million people cohabitated in the United States.
Many of these couples want the same protections as married persons regarding jointly owned property, inherited property, and expenses. Florida law permits persons who live together or cohabitate, irrespective of gender or sex, to enter into a cohabitation agreement, which governs what happens to property when the parties cease to live together
A cohabitation agreement functions similarly to a prenuptial or premarital agreement that parties enter before a marriage. However, a cohabitation agreement can be entered by any parties who live together or plan to live together, irrespective of marital status or prospective marital status.
What to Include in a Cohabitation Agreement
The most important part of any agreement or contract, including a cohabitation agreement, is a clear expression of intent.
The cohabitation agreement must clearly express the parties entering the cohabitation agreement do not intend to enter into marriage or hold themselves out as husband and wife and the parties intend for the agreement to govern what happens to all property if and when the parties cease to reside together.
Commonly, a cohabitation agreement governs the following:
- Division of property acquired while the parties lived together
- Property gifted to or inherited by one party while the parties lived together
- Ownership of pets
- Property acquired before the parties lived together
- What will happen to property if one or both parties die or becomes incapacitated
- Method to resolve any disagreements regarding the cohabitation agreement
- Payment or reimbursement of expenses, including utilities and housing
- Joint accounts, including checking and savings account
- Retirement and investment accounts
The parties may include any provision regarding property and the living arrangement that is not illegal or against public policy.
Quality Family Law ǀ Palm Beach County Cohabitation Agreement Attorneys
The definition of family is constantly changing. Throughout the United States and Florida, families can include domestic partners, dating persons, person who choose to reside together, and countless other arrangements. No matter your definition of family, you and your family deserve legal protection.
The team of attorneys at Quality Family Law handle all family and divorce law matters, including cohabitation agreements, premarital or prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, and guardianship. With partners available 24/7, Quality Family Law will be by you and your family’s side the entire way.
The team of attorneys at Quality Family Law represent individuals and families throughout Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, North Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Royal Palm Beach, and surrounding areas. Contact Quality Family Law at (561) 693-3126 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation.
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