Living with someone over a period of time can come to bear a close resemblance to marriage. The differences between cohabitation and marriage, however, come into sharp relief when the relationship comes to an end. Under New York law, only marriage or civil union will provide clear protection for each person when the relationship is dissolved. A cohabitation agreement represents a practical solution to the problems that can come up when people need to untangle a relationship that isn’t otherwise recognized by law.
What Is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement isn’t a substitute for a prenuptial agreement, a same-sex marriage or any other domestic arrangement. Instead, it’s a way to protect the people involved from loss, if for whatever reason, they go their separate ways after a sustained period of common finances or property ownership. You don’t need to be a straight or gay couple in an intimate relationship to benefit from a cohabitation agreement. Adult siblings, business partners, close friends, or anyone else who finds it convenient to live with someone else outside of marriage can find protection in a negotiated agreement that defines each party’s rights to property that might otherwise come into dispute when someone decides to move on.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Rochester, NY Today
If you’re involved with someone to the extent that you own property together, pay bills together, have children together, operate a business together or any combination thereof, you might consider legal advice from a skilled Rochester Divorce Lawyer about what to do if the relationship comes to an end. Proper documentation of who owns what in the form of an enforceable cohabitation agreement can give you a measure of financial security while avoiding what could turn out to be a lengthy, confusing and costly court battle.
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