Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cohabitation agreements in the news

Here is a California cohabitation agreement reported by The Metropolitan News-Enterprise under the headline Court Rejects Marvin Claim Against Musician’s Estate that illustrates a point I have been trying to make.

An oral contract for domestic services between a deceased musician and his cohabiting partner that also required performance of duties controlled by the Talent Agencies Act was void in its entirety for the partner’s lack of a talent agent license, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled yesterday.
Exclude the reference to California's Talent Agencies Act and zero in on "An oral contract." That gets us to the point applicable to Indiana. I feel certain that an oral cohabitation agreement would fail in Indiana. Too many problems with proving what was the agreement.

So the people could not pay a lawyer to write up a cohabitation agreement but the survivor could find the money to pay for litigating the matter in a trial court and then appeal the case? As my mother would say - more money than sense.

Now the survivor is out the money spent on lawyers. She also lost the money she claimed the other person owed her:
Chiba claimed that Greenwald breached the agreement by refusing to pay her for her services, and sought over $1 million for the services and for proceeds from Smith’s compositions, performances and albums.
If you read all of my posts about cohabitation, you know I do not suggest that every couple living together get a cohabitation agreement. I do advocate getting a cohabitation agreement when you and your significant other are acquiring property together. However, I change my tune when you and your significant other go into business with one another. Combine cohabitation and a business, then not having at minimum a cohabitation agreement invites disaster.

If you are wanting a cohabitation agreement and live in Indiana, feel free to contact me. For my other posts on cohabitation, click on the links below where it says label.

No comments: