What and Whom Should You Protect?
Using Marital Agreements to Reduce Tension
Protection for Unmarried Partners
Cohabitation has increased 1000% in the last 40 years due in part to older individuals who do not marry because they don’t want to upset their children or reduce their entitlement to governmental benefits. Furthermore, same-sex couples are not permitted to marry in most states. So if you fall in any of these categories, you may need to protect yourself in a cohabitation agreement.
In many states, no rights accrue in the event of death or breakup unless terms are clearly spelled out in a written agreement. In other states, implied rights may arise as a result of your course of conduct – whether or not you are aware of them. The state’s domestic relations and trusts and estates laws generally are applicable to married folks only, so to create definite rights and obligations, you need to memorialize them in a cohabitation agreement.
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