Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cohabition Agreements on CNN

CNN's Moving in together and avoiding a falling out has some good point and some not so good:

The good:

"There are obvious advantages to cohabitation, both emotional (living with the person you love) and financial (sharing expenses like rent).

The drawbacks are just as glaring, like adjusting to annoying personal habits and accommodating your loved one's passion for knickknacks that make your cringe.

One thing's for certain, experts say -- the more you discuss before you move in together, the more likely your relationship will succeed. Sotelo's and Nguyen's certainly has improved in the year and half they've lived together."
Putting those discussions into a cohabitation agreement may not seem self-evident except to a lawyer (and since I am one of those, my biases may be showing).

Now for the not so good bits:

Even if a couple takes all of these steps, there's still a change that one day they'll part ways. If that happens, cohabitating couples have some of the legal protections of married couples if they meet their state's definition of common-law spouses or draft written agreements before the split, Hertz says.

Someone omitted the fact that some states (such as Indiana) do not recognize common-law marriages. Which means without a written agreement, the legal remedies for Indiana residents are limited.

An agreement doesn't have to be drafted by a lawyer to be recognized by a court. In about 40 states, an unmarried cohabitant can make a claim based on an oral, written or implied agreement.

Those 40 states include Indiana (as I hinted above). No, the agreement need not be drafted by a lawyer. What should be done is have a lawyer review the agreement. You have no idea if you have just written an agreement that will not be honored by an Indiana court but a lawyer can give you such an idea.

If you are seriously thinking of writing your own cohabitation agreement, I suggest that you read my other articles here on cohabitation and living together. Just follow the links below this post.

No comments: