Marriage rates have been on the decline. Some choose to wait longer to marry, wanting to achieve personal and professional success prior to settling down. Some choose not to marry at all, opting instead to live together, young as well as old.
Cohabitation Agreements can provide the same protections to unmarried, cohabitating couples that the marriage contract and the law provides to married couples. Young couples, just starting out, who are beginning to earn incomes and acquire assets and debts, or older couples who may be reaching retirement age or already retired, who may be coming into a relationship, having already accumulated significant assets or debts, and who may have children of their own, can both benefit from a Cohabitation Agreement that determines, among other things:
- How expenses will be paid;
- How property will be acquired, and how will it be owned;
- How debt will be incurred, and who will be responsible;
- How household responsibilities will be shared;
- How the couple will treat property and debt that one or the other accumulated prior to the relationship;
- In the event of separation or death, what will happen to the property and debt; and
- How disputes will be resolved during the relationship, and in the event the relationship ends.
Making these decisions up front and having the protections in place for both people provides peace of mind and allows them the freedom to simply enjoy their relationship.