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Entering Into a California Cohabitation Agreement

Posted on in Family Law

California family lawyerIn the course of American cultural discourse, one becomes familiar with the concept of a premarital agreement. Strangely, however, there is less familiarity with two other relationship-related agreements: 1) postnuptial agreements, and 2) cohabitation agreements. This is especially the case with regard to the latter, which pertains to unmarried couples. If you are unmarried but living with your partner, it may be wise to consider entering into a written cohabitation agreement to make clear the present and future support intended or not intended. In creating a legally effective California cohabitation agreement, rely on an experienced Saratoga family law attorney.

Specifying Support and Separate Property in a Cohabitation Agreement

In modern America, some couples commit to one another while explicitly choosing to remain apart from the institution of marriage. Sometimes this decision is entwined with a rejection of the patriarchy. Other times, the choice is intuitive – personal rather than political. When a union not formalized through marriage dissolves, however, the division of the union’s economic community – its assets and liabilities – can become contentious and complex.

For example, one partner may sue the other for palimony (like alimony, but flowing from non-marital unions), citing a promise for lifetime support or joint ownership of property acquired during the relationship. Here, one partner may attempt offer as evidence the sacrifice of educational or vocational aspirations or opportunities to make a home and care for children while the other partner continued on in employment and education.

A cohabitation agreement, then, is a means of making clear precisely the support and property ownership intended in the relationship, whether both partners are working or making trade-offs to support one another.

A Written Agreement Provides Certainty

Even if you have had a conversation with your partner about your arrangement, intentions, and expectations, it may be subject to challenge in the event of the relationship’s dissolution. Because of this, it is most wise to put a cohabitation agreement in writing. Here, an experienced Cupertino family law attorney will prove invaluable in drafting and, with your signatures, putting into legal effect a cohabitation agreement that puts into completely clear terms the understanding that you and your partner share with regard to income, property, and, when applicable, child support and custody.

Please contact a skilled Los Gatos family law attorney from Ventresca Law Firm at 408-395-8822. We service clients in the Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Cupertino, and San Jose areas.



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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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