Millions of couples in the United States live together but are not married. This arrangement is known as cohabitation. When a couple living together does not have a legal cohabitation agreement, there can very easily be emotional and financial turmoil if things go sour. While no couple wants to enter a relationship thinking that it could fail, it is smart to be protected legally if it does.
Common Law Marriages
- In Texas, couples that live together but are not legally married and don’t have a cohabitation agreement may be considered married by common law. This occurs when a couple lives together as married, agrees that they are married, and presents themselves to others that they are married. In common law marriages, If the relationship ends and there is no legal agreement, then property is split down the middle.
Why Is a Cohabitation Agreement Necessary?
- The cold, hard reality is that many relationships will end. Cohabitation agreements aren’t just for the wealthy, but can be vital to any couple that lives together. These agreements protect both parties and may even offer perks such as a shopping budget, date nights, and a monthly spending budget for each. One Southlake family law attorney even included custody and visitation for a couple’s beloved pet.
Cohabitation Agreements and Same Sex Couples
- Because the state of Texas does not consider same-sex marriage legal, same-sex couples can benefit from cohabitation agreements. Those that have any valueable property when entering a relationship can benefit from a legal agreement. Property decisions may include anything from considerable wealth to a beloved pet. Untangling assets without an agreement can be extremely messy for same-sex couples when a relationship ends.
When to Seek a Legal Agreement
- Any couple who lives together and is not married should consider a cohabitation agreement, but these are particularly important when considerable assets are involved. If you are in this situation and don’t understand how a cohabitation agreement works or why it would benefit you and your relationship, a lawyer can answer your questions and address any concerns you have before you make anything legal.