Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cohabitation Agreements - Define carefully

This applies to more than cohabitiation agreements. The following from Elliot Schlissel's New York Law Blog, Defining “Cohabitation” in Your Separation Agreement applies to prenuptiaon and post-nuptial agreements:

"I understand what the Court of Appeals said better than I understand the two lower courts. When you read the context, i.e. that they had to “cohabit” for substantially 60 days straight, it just doesn’t sound like the agreement is saying she literally has to have intimate relations with some guy (almost) every day for 60 days! Barring some kind of big brother surveillance with bugs and secret cameras inside her house, it seems absurd to me to suggest that this is what the separation agreement required that he prove in order to cut off her support payments!"

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When I initially read the wording of their separation agreement, the context seemed to indicate that “living together” and “sharing a residence” was the termination trigger, not actual proof of intimate relations.

Bottom line, as Thomas Swartz pointed out, you need a very good attorneyto draft your separation agreement very very carefully and not leave terms, within that agreement, ambiguous.

1 comment:

Benjamin Wolf said...

Thank you for the link!