Montgomery County Cohabitation Agreement Lawyers
A Contract to Protect You While Living with a Significant Other
More and more couples are choosing to live together before they get married. Some will elect to stay together indefinitely without a formal relationship. Unfortunately, long-term relationships sometimes do come to an end. And without a formal, legally binding agreement, one partner may be substantially hurt during the breakup, losing out on assets, property, compensation, and protections that he or she might have been entitled to had the couple been married.
That’s why couples are turning to Cohabitation Agreement to protect themselves in the event of a breakup. This way, both parties are able to spell out the nature of their relationship and have clear, binding guidelines of how to divide up shared property and finances when the relationship ends.
New Relationship Realities Call for New Customs
Societies are always evolving, and the way we form and maintain relationships changes as time goes on. What was right for our parents’ generation may not be appropriate nowadays. This means that laws formulated decades ago may not be adequate for dealing with today’s realities.
There are many reasons why couples choose to live together rather than get married. Most commonly, it is a trial period prior to making a full commitment. But this trial period is growing longer on average. When couples don’t adhere to a particular faith, the need to get married may not be as pressing as it is for couples from religious backgrounds. In addition, many couples are seeking to avoid the legal entanglements that might ensue when a marriage dissolves.
However, if assets, property, or bank accounts are "unofficially" shared and an unmarried couple breaks up, this can create its own problems without the protections of marriage.
Palimony refers to the division of financial assets and property upon the termination of a romantic relationship wherein the parties were not legally married. In Pennsylvania, the courts have found that in the absence of a written contract, palimony may be appropriate, even if the couple never lived together, if it can be proven that there was a marital-type relationship between the partners, and that there was an implied or express promise by one partner to financially support the other partner.
A Cohabitation Agreement Can Protect Both Partners
For couples who want to avoid the financial difficulties associated with a painful breakup, a cohabitation agreement can provide security against future legal issues. A cohabitation agreement establishes written expectations, which are legally enforceable if drafted by a skilled Pennsylvania family law attorney. A cohabitation agreement can prevent the abandonment of one partner, or protect both partners from unfair and unanticipated financial burdens.
What Rights Do Unmarried Couples Have During a Breakup?
Pennsylvania courts don’t treat long-term relationships the way they treat marriage. It can be more difficult to end a long-term relationship in a consensual manner than it is when a married couple divorces, because the lack of a formal agreement means that there are rarely guidelines for how to separate joint property. Usually, the only recourse will be to go to court and battle it out. If some property is not in your name, regardless of the fact that you contributed towards its purchase or upkeep, you may have a very hard time proving it.
Unmarried couples do not have the same rights and protections as married couples. This leaves both partners in a relationship vulnerable. A cohabitation agreement is a simple and straightforward way to establish clear guidelines for the relationship and protect against future heartbreak.
If you are living with a significant other, one of the best things you can do to protect your future is to establish a cohabitation agreement. An experienced Montgomery County cohabitation lawyer can help you draft an enforceable agreement that protects your rights and financial interests. At the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, we want the best for our clients and we’ll work with you to create healthy and transparent guidelines that will ease the difficulties associated with a breakup.
Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable team today at (866) 290-9292 to schedule a free consultation.
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- AAML Survey Finds Cohabitation Agreements are Increasing