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Montgomery County PA Domestic Partnership Property Rights Lawyer

Property Rights for Same-Sex Couples in a Domestic Partnership

large homeAre you and your loved one in a non-marital, domestic partnership? If so, then you should consider drawing up a co-ownership agreement with help from a dedicated domestic partnership attorney. Yes, it may be uncomfortable to discuss financial matters in case of separation, or worse, but the fact is you can never predict what's going to happen, and it is always better to be prepared. In other words, taking preemptive action today may save you many headaches down the line.

Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz not only possesses a deep and nuanced understanding of Pennsylvania family law, but also excels at conflict resolution. She can help you and your partner draft a contractual agreement that meets both of your needs. For dependable legal guidance, call the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz at (610) 645-0100 today.

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What Happens to a Non-Marital Couple’s Property Upon Separation or Death?

When a non-marital couple separates, or one of the partners dies, the treatment of their property is determined by the five following factors:

  • Whether the couple registered as domestic partners, and if so, where and when registration took place;
  • When the property was attained in relation to when the relationship started (or when the domestic partners were registered);
  • Who primarily invested their finances into the payment, upkeep, and operation of the property;
  • The specifics of the title to the property; and
  • Whether there is a written property agreement between the partners or, in case of death, whether the deceased partner has drawn up a will.

Non-marital couples and domestic partners usually hold title to co-owned real estate as joint tenants, tenants in common, community property, or community property with a right of survivorship. However, a couple may not be presented with every one of these options.

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What Important Issues Should Be Covered in an Agreement?

Whether you and your loved one are domestic partners or not, you should make sure that the property agreement has the following points covered before finalizing it:

  • Expenses: These include past contributions and future costs, including acquisition costs, carrying costs, and improvement costs.
  • Forced Sale: Co-ownership may not be a realistic option following separation. A forced buyout or sale should be considered as an alternative.
  • Sale Proceeds: It is important that the allocation of sale proceeds is determined in a property agreement.
  • Death: Postmortem intentions should be clearly defined in an agreement in order to avoid a dispute between heirs.
  • Occupancy: Set rules on who can visit and occupy a shared property in case of separation, especially if a forced sale is not an option.

Without legal assistance, it may be difficult to resolve all of these issues with your partner. Get in touch with a dependable Pennsylvania LGBTQ family law attorney who can provide you with a comprehensive evaluation of your situation.

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A Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney in Pennsylvania

At The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, we can use our knowledge of Pennsylvania's premarital and co-habitation agreement laws to draft a clear and solid agreement that addresses how to handle your property in the event of a split. Even if your relationship is already ending and you do not have an agreement in place, please contact us for advice and guidance on how to protect your property and your rights.

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