Cohabition Agreement Lawyer in Long Island
Seasoned Counsel for Unmarried Couples
Not all couples choose to get married. In New York, those who are unmarried
are not afforded the same rights and protections under
New York State family law should their relationship dissolve. If you are in a close and loving relationship
with no desire to be married, it is advised that you
contact an attorney at our firm to help you draft a cohabitation agreement.
How Does a Cohabitation Agreement Work?
Similar to a
prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement is a legal contract
between two people regarding the responsibilities and obligations toward
one another if the relationship ends. Unlike prenuptial and postnuptial
agreements, cohabitation agreements are not between two people who are
married; instead, they are between those who choose to protect their interests
while remaining unmarried.
Assets Affected by Cohabitation Agreements
In the state of New York, if an unmarried relationship is terminated, there
is no law regarding resolution of interests or claims. When a cohabitation
agreement is drafted, you and your partner will determine a fair division
debts and other assets that have been acquired throughout the course of the relationship.
This agreement is protected under New York Contract Law.
Some situations in which a cohabitation agreement may be considered are
- Bank accounts
- Real estate
- Household expenses
- Educational expenses
- Business affairs
Our Long Island family lawyers can help you legally express terms of support
and rights for one another through drafting a cohabitation agreement.
Since this is a legal contract, there are rules involved with drafting
the agreement, so it is essential that an attorney makes certain the contract
is legally enforceable.
Cohabitation Agreement FAQ
I have inherited a significant amount of assets. Can I get a cohabitation
Yes. Whether you earned your finances through a successful career or received
it from your elders through inheritance, you can protect or manage it
through a cohabitation agreement.
Can I use a cohabitation agreement if I privately own a business?
One of the main reasons couples in a dedicated, long-term relationship
without marriage use a cohabitation agreement is to keep control of their
privately-run businesses in the event of a breakup. If there is no cohabitation
agreement, your significant other could claim to own a portion of your
business by virtue of putting in many hours of labor, or perhaps personal
finances, into it.
Will a cohabitation agreement be useful if I have children from a previous
Many significant others attached to a serious but non-matrimonial relationship
can start to feel like parents or guardians to the children of their boyfriends
or girlfriends, despite having no blood or legal ties to them. If you
are concerned if this could cause trouble if you should decide to split,
use a cohabitation agreement to sort matters out sooner than later.
My partner has debts. Could they become my debts?
It all depends on how the debts were formed. Did it have to do with building
your life together, such as investing in a shared home? If so, those debts
could become yours. A cohabitation agreement can say upfront that you do not
share a pool of finances.
Or, oppositely, you can volunteer to be responsible for some portion of their
debt. If that is not a sign of love and dedication, nothing may be.
Can I establish guardianship of my significant other?
When you want to petition for guardianship of a loved one, they typically
need to be a direct member of your family. A cohabitation agreement can
specify that you and your partner can file for guardianship over the other
in the event of debilitation or incapacitation. If you are not sure about
guardianship as a whole, you can put the caveat that this is only permitted
in emergency conditions.
Ready to draft your cohabitation agreement? Learn how our Long Island family
law attorneys can help during a