Protect Your Financial Interests With A Cohabitation Agreement
If you have been living with someone but have decided to hold off on walking down the aisle, you probably need a cohabitation agreement. Even though same-sex marriage was recently legalized in Pennsylvania, not everyone is rushing to say, “I do.” Regardless of what type of relationship you are in, you should have a cohabitation agreement. Why, you might ask? Well, in the event you and your partner go your separate ways, you are not spending money on lawyers fighting over who gets what or who is responsible for what debt.
Think of a cohabitation agreement as a prenuptial agreement. It is a legally binding contract between the parties. It is not enforceable in Pennsylvania family courts though. In the event there is a dispute, it would be enforceable in civil court under contract law. For example, you and your girlfriend buy a house together as tenants in common but things do not work out between you, and you need to leave and get your money out of the house. She refuses to sell or buy you out.
Without a cohabitation agreement, you may be stuck suing your former partner in civil court to force the sale of the home or partition it (meaning the court could order that you can list your 50 percent interest in the house for sale). However, how many people want to buy one half of a house? Not many.
Another common problem is when partners lease a car together for use by one partner but leased under the other’s name. If you break up, the leasing partner is stuck with a second car because he/she is bound by the lease. With a cohabitation agreement, you can provide for the what-ifs without facing a tough and expensive legal battle. Without one, you could be paying off a loan/lease on a car you do not even need or use.
We Can Protect Your Best Interests
At McMorrow Law, LLC, our attorneys can craft an agreement which will guide the parties through a breakup. In the previous scenario, we might draft a cohabitation agreement for you which states that one party has to buy out the other party’s interest in the home within a certain time period and for a certain price, or that the house must be sold and you split the proceeds.
If you are living with someone and want to define each other’s rights and responsibilities in the event of a breakup, please give the cohabitation agreement attorneys at McMorrow Law, LLC, a call at 724-940-0100 , or contact them by email. We offer a free consultation.