Cohabitation is primarily used to describe a couple who lives together but isn’t officially married. The couple often shares the responsibilities and privileges that are normally associated with marriage.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
Unmarried couples are able to create contracts between themselves that outline the rights and obligations each partner owes the other. This contract is frequently referred to as a cohabitation agreement and often lasts until the relationship ends or one partner dies. Although a verbal cohabitation agreement is legally binding, the agreement should be written by an attorney and notarized so whatever was agreed upon will be easier to prove in court.
What should a cohabitation agreement include?
The cohabitation agreement operates similarly to a prenuptial agreement. It will typically outline how property, debt, money, and other things will be managed during and after the relationship if it ends. Some important items to consider including in the agreement are:
- Expenses and how they will be paid during the relationship or afterwards upon separation
- Property acquired during the relationship and/or from before the relationship and who would keep what upon separation or death
- Dispute resolution methods if any disagreements arise
- Separation or Death clauses explaining what will happen if one partner dies or they decide to separate
Are cohabitation agreements enforceable in Florida?
Commonly, cohabitating couples do not enjoy the same rights as married individuals. However, under Florida law, you can enforce the terms of a relationship in an oral or written cohabitation agreement.
There is no obligation of financial support in a cohabiting relationship unless it is outlined in a formal agreement. Further, any property acquired jointly by unmarried couples may be difficult to divide upon the end of the relationship. So, cohabitation agreements are an excellent tool to utilize in those situations.