Protect Your Rights with Cohabitation Agreements in New York, NY

As our population ages, a greater number of unmarried couples are living together with no intention of marriage. While Prenuptial Agreements are available for couples who intend to be married and Separation Agreements for couples who intend to divorce, Cohabitation Agreements have become the vehicle of choice for those living without the benefit of wedlock. Since the unwed couple basically has rights against them to cohabitate, they need the Agreement to clarify their positions. The New York courts will enforce validly executed Cohabitation Agreements in New York, NY, which are used to protect the couple’s legal and property interests.

It is wise for two people who are living together as a married couple to make agreements about their present and future. A law firm, such as Bernard Rothman, Esq can help you put the agreements about your living conditions in a legal document — one that will hold up in court.

What Is a Cohabitation Agreement?

The rights that unmarried couples have are not enjoyed by two people who live together without a legal marriage. Because they are not legally married, the laws that provide protection do not apply to these unmarried couples, whether of the opposite sex or same-sex. This is what makes Cohabitation Agreements so important, for this is the legal document the couple can use for agreement on such matters as the division of property, support, and custody of children, and payment of debts should the couple decide to split up.

Another issue that comes into play is a health care proxy, which is the legal right to make medical decisions on behalf of someone who is incapacitated, usually a spouse or close relative. Unless the couple has a valid Cohabitation Agreement, the partner who lives with the person who is ill cannot legally make medical decisions for their partner.

Asset Disclosure

As with all other Agreements, there should be a complete disclosure by each participant of their respective assets. Each party should be represented by separate counsel.

There are many issues, which should be addressed in a Cohabitation Agreement, including:

  1. What will happen to the rights and interests of each party acquired during the non-marital cohabitation if the parties later marry?
  2. How will property be divided in the event the relationship breaks up?
  3. What will happen to jointly owned property on the death of one of the cohabitants?
  4. Will one cohabitant have the right to make medical decisions for the other by means of a health care proxy, if the other becomes ill?
  5. Who will pay what bills and how much will each contribute for day to day living expenses?
  6. What will happen in the event of the birth of a child to one of the parties?
  7. Will the parties register under the Domestic Partnership statute in New York?
  8. Will the parties execute a Will with the other as beneficiary?
  9. Will the cohabitants make the other a beneficiary under a life insurance policy?

The above is only a brief recitation of the numerous issues that should be addressed by a Cohabitation Agreement.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss a cohabitation agreement for you. We proudly serve customers in New York City, NY.