DC Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer 

A DC cohabitation agreement lawyer can be very helpful in certain situations. A cohabitation agreement is a contract, which sets the guidelines for your relationship when you live with someone or are moving in with someone. It will define your rights as a couple and determine how property will be divided if you separate, and will determine the legal definition of your relationship. Consult with a trusted lawyer for more on agreements.

Agreeing on Everything in a Cohabitation Agreement

A couple does not need to agree on everything in a cohabitation agreement. However, all of the terms that end up in the valid and binding agreement must be agreed upon by those parties. Anything that is not included in a cohabitation agreement will be determined by state law if the relationship ends.

It is very important to spell everything out and have it in the contract in a way that both parties decide is fair and reasonable from the beginning of the relationship as opposed to getting into the often-complicated legal process of determining whether a common law marriage existed, and, if so, what the rightful obligations for the parties are vis-à-vis one another when that relationship ends. As soon as parties decide to live together, it introduces the risk of a common law marriage being formed even if both parties do not intend to actually get married. A cohabitation agreement can explicitly provide that the parties do not intend to enter into a marriage. Talk to a DC cohabitation agreement lawyer if there are any questions.

Not Entering a Cohabitation Agreement

Without a cohabitation agreement, a couple who are living together under the same roof and who is acting as a married couple may end up being determined to have entered into a common law marriage even if either one of them did not intend to do so.

Because DC recognizes common law marriage, when the relationship ends, one spouse may seek the equitable division of all marital assets from the other, may seek alimony payments, and may hold them to the legal rights and obligations that married couples have in terms of child custody and child payments. They basically will have access to an equitable division of any of the assets that were acquired by that spouse during the time the relationship existed and the common law marriage was formed. Not having a cohabitation agreement can lead to a less formal relationship ending in, basically, a divorce proceeding.

Consulting with a Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer

A DC cohabitation agreement lawyer can help you determine what benefits a cohabitation agreement can provide. It can provide unmarried couples all of the same benefits as any marital agreement. The assistance of a lawyer is essential as the cohabitation agreement will be a legal, valid, and binding document if the relationship ends.

It is important to understand the consequences of entering into a common law marriage, either knowingly or unknowingly, to determine whether or not the legal rights and obligations that come with the common law marriage are something that both sides are comfortable with. If not, having a lawyer with experience in drafting cohabitation agreements will allow you to be able to faithfully put your thoughts about how the division of the assets that both of you have should be divided in case the relationship ends so it is down in writing into a legally valid and binding document.