In the state of Massachusetts, there are many couples who choose to live together, or cohabitate, instead of marrying. If you are in such a situation, even if the union is not a legally binding one, eventually all of your property will be mixed in with that of your partner. Often, large pieces of property will belong to both parties. This could include expensive property such as houses and automobiles. In such circumstances, a break up could cost both parties thousands of dollars and months of litigation to divide these assets. If the couple has children together, the toll could be even greater. If you are involved in such a relationship, it is important to note that without a cohabitation agreement, you do not have the legal protection that a married couple would have. If you would like assistance in drawing up a cohabitation agreement, give Boston Business Attorney Doug Lovenberg a call.
Why DO I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?
When a couple is legally married in the state of Massachusetts, they have the protection of Massachusetts state probate court if they were to get a divorce or death. An unmarried couple, however, has no protection. This means that if you are are involved in a cohabitation situation and you have no cohabitation agreement, in the event of a death or breakup, you could lose property that you have paid for or contributed to. A cohabitation agreement can help define exactly how a couple’s assets are to be divided should they breakup. In the event of a death, a cohabitation agreement can also help to show how the couple intended for their property to be divided. A will is also needed in such cases.
In circumstances where both parties may be making payments on a house or car that is in only one party’s name, a cohabitation agreement would protect both parties and help ensure that their property is divided fairly. If both parties are running a business together, a cohabitation agreement can help decide who retains the business and/or how the assets and profits will be divided. If one member of the couple pays most of the household expenses, there may be no proof of this should a bad breakup occur. The same is true if one member supported the other through college, etc. In all of these cases, a cohabitation agreement would protect both parties and ensure that they receive their fair share in a breakup.
You can give our offices a call today to learn more about creating a cohabitation agreement. If you have found yourself in a bad breakup without a cohabitation agreement, Business Lawyer Doug Lovenberg can represent you in negotiation to reach as fair an agreement as possible. Call us today and let us review your case and explain how we can help.