Unmarried couples in the United States are choosing to live together without entering marriage. Census data show that from about 2.8 million unmarried couple households in 1996, today there are over 8 million unmarried couples living together. In Florida, further growth in unmarried couple households is expected following the governor’s recent approval of Senate Bill No. 0498 which repealed the ban on cohabitation.
Importance of Cohabitation Agreements
Cohabitation agreements are contracts that contain terms and conditions that are common in prenuptial or premarital agreements. They provide a legal framework for finances of unmarried couples, specifying obligations and duties such as:
- Sharing of household expenses
- Contributing to a joint household account
- Titling and management of properties acquired in common
- Financial duties with respect to common children
- Estate planning matters
Many unmarried couples living together experience struggles and issues that typically arise from the breakdown of a relationship, just as divorced couples do. Depending on the situation of the couple, it is possible for parties to be locked in legal disputes over real properties that they purchased together, companies or businesses that they formed as a couple, and raising common children.
With a cohabitation agreement addressing these issues, parties are guided on their rights and duties and can legally resort to Florida courts for enforcement of their agreement just like any other contract.
Before Senate Bill No. 0498, it was a crime/misdemeanor for unmarried men and women to live together without being married to each other. Back then, cohabiting couples may have refrained from putting their agreements in writing back then in order to avoid allegations of committing a misdemeanor of cohabiting without being married.
If you are living with a loved one without being married, you may be concerned with finances and planning for the future as a couple or family. Talk to an experienced family law attorney about your situation and seek legal advice about your options for a cohabitation agreement.
Role of Florida Family Law Attorney
A cohabitation agreement is an important document that can have a lasting impact on your finances and your future. Creating one requires knowledge of contract law and civil procedures for ensuring their enforceability by the courts. In Florida, the lawyers of the Anton Legal Group can assess your situation, anticipate foreseeable future events, and help you create a cohabitation agreement that suits your needs and circumstances.
We invite you to call us today at (813) 443-5249 to learn more about how we can help you.