Married and unmarried couples who live together face the same day-to-day issues involving children, income, expenses, and properties. In Florida, existing family laws provide the rights and duties of married couples to one another. For partners who live together without the formality of marriage, determining similar rights and obligations, particularly when the relationship ends, can be a challenge, unless the parties enter into cohabitation agreements.
What Is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a written contract between two people who decide to live together in an exclusive relationship without getting married. Cohabitation is treated like a partnership where rights and duties are established by agreement. In a cohabitation agreement, the parties may stipulate terms and conditions on a wide range of subjects such as:
- The management of assets, income, debts, and expenses during the relationship
- The division of assets and obligations when the relationship ends
- Medical decisions
- Alimony payments upon the couple’s breakup
- Parenting duties during the relationship and shared parenting plans in case they breakup
- Child support upon their breakup
- Inheritance rights should the other partner die
- Designation of one partner as beneficiary of the other in an insurance policy
Enforcement of Cohabitation Agreement
Provisions found in a cohabitation agreement that do not involve children issues may be enforced through court action, applying contract law.
Parties thinking of creating a cohabitation agreement on their own will need incredible foresight and legal knowledge to anticipate future needs and situations, as well as their legal implications. Consulting a family law attorney or engaging the services of one when drafting a cohabitation agreement can ensure the inclusion of contract provisions that best suit the current and future needs, goals, and circumstances of the partners.
Your attorney can also critically analyze your situation and come up with contract terms that address specific challenges or situations such as provisions on titling of assets, settlement of liabilities, establishing estate plans, and other strategies.
If you are currently cohabiting or contemplating cohabitation, speaking to an experienced family law attorney can help both you and your partner to make informed decisions about cohabitation agreements.
In Tampa, Florida, the family law attorneys of the Anton Legal Group have more than 3 decades of experience in a wide range of family law cases and have helped clients create responsive cohabitation agreements.
We invite you to contact any of our friendly attorneys at (813) 443-5249 and discuss your situation in a consultation.