If you and your partner have decided to live together but are not ready to get married, a domestic partnership cohabitation agreement might be something to consider. This type of agreement can help outline expectations and responsibilities for both parties in the event of a breakup or other life changes.
What is a Domestic Partnership Cohabitation Agreement?
A domestic partnership cohabitation agreement is a written agreement between two people who live together in a committed relationship but are not married. The agreement can outline various aspects of the relationship, such as how expenses will be split, how assets and debts will be shared, and what will happen in the event of a breakup.
Why Consider a Domestic Partnership Cohabitation Agreement?
There are several reasons why you might want to consider a domestic partnership cohabitation agreement:
1. Protecting Your Assets: If you or your partner have significant assets, such as a house, car, or savings account, a cohabitation agreement can help ensure that those assets are protected in the event of a breakup.
2. Clarifying Expectations: The agreement can help clarify expectations for both partners regarding everything from household chores to finances.
3. Avoiding Legal Disputes: Having a written agreement can help prevent legal disputes in the event of a breakup, which can save both parties from significant stress and expense.
What Should Be Included in a Domestic Partnership Cohabitation Agreement?
The specific details of a domestic partnership cohabitation agreement will depend on each couple`s unique circumstances. However, here are some common elements that may be included:
1. Living Arrangements: The agreement should outline where the couple will live, who will be responsible for paying rent or mortgage payments, and how household expenses will be split.
2. Financial Responsibility: The agreement should specify how expenses such as groceries, utilities, and other household costs will be shared, and how any joint accounts will be managed.
3. Ownership of Assets and Debts: The agreement should outline how assets and debts will be divided in the event of a breakup. This may include property, bank accounts, and credit card debt.
4. Duration of the Agreement: The agreement should specify how long the agreement will be in effect and whether it will automatically renew.
5. Termination: The agreement should specify how it can be terminated and what will happen to any shared assets or debts in the event of termination.
How to Create a Domestic Partnership Cohabitation Agreement
Creating a domestic partnership cohabitation agreement can be done with or without the help of a lawyer. However, it`s generally recommended to have a lawyer review the agreement to make sure it`s legally sound.
To create an agreement, start by discussing with your partner the various aspects of your relationship that you want to include in the agreement. Once you`ve agreed on the details, write them down in a clear, concise manner.
Both partners should sign and date the agreement, and it should be kept in a safe place where it can be easily accessed in the event of a breakup or other life changes.
In conclusion, a domestic partnership cohabitation agreement can help protect both partners in a committed relationship who are not yet ready to get married. With an agreement in place, both partners can have peace of mind knowing that their expectations, responsibilities, and assets are clearly defined.