Cohabitation Agreement Us

Cohabitation agreements are an increasingly popular legal tool used by unmarried couples in the United States to protect their rights and assets. With more and more couples choosing to live together before getting married, cohabitation agreements can provide peace of mind and clarity for both partners.

What is a cohabitation agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each partner in a domestic partnership. It can cover a wide range of topics, including:

– Division of property

– Assets and debts

– Financial support

– Health and medical decisions

– Child custody and support

– End-of-life care

Essentially, a cohabitation agreement is a contract between two people who are living together but are not married. It can help clarify expectations, prevent misunderstandings, and ensure that each partner`s rights and interests are protected.

Why might you need a cohabitation agreement?

There are many reasons why a cohabitation agreement might be beneficial for unmarried couples. Here are just a few:

– Protection of assets: If one partner owns property, assets, or has significant debt, a cohabitation agreement can ensure that these assets and liabilities are protected. It can also specify how property ownership will be divided if the couple separates or one partner passes away.

– Clarification of financial responsibilities: A cohabitation agreement can outline each partner`s financial responsibilities, including who pays for what expenses and how joint accounts will be managed.

– Health and medical decisions: In the event that one partner becomes incapacitated, a cohabitation agreement can specify who is responsible for making medical decisions and providing care.

– Child custody and support: If the couple has children, a cohabitation agreement can specify how custody will be managed and how child support will be calculated.

– End-of-life care: A cohabitation agreement can outline how end-of-life care will be managed, including what types of medical treatment are preferred and who will make decisions if one partner becomes incapacitated.

How to create a cohabitation agreement

Creating a cohabitation agreement typically involves the following steps:

1. Decide what you want to include: Start by brainstorming what topics you want to cover in your agreement. Consider your individual circumstances and what issues you want to address.

2. Seek legal advice: It`s important to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law to make sure your agreement meets all legal requirements and is enforceable in your state.

3. Draft the agreement: Once you have a clear idea of what you want to include, work with your attorney to draft the agreement. This may involve negotiating certain terms with your partner and making revisions until both parties are satisfied.

4. Sign and notarize the agreement: Once the agreement is finalized, both partners should sign it in the presence of a notary public. This will ensure that the document is legally binding.

5. Store the agreement in a safe place: Be sure to keep a copy of the agreement in a safe place where it can be easily accessed if needed.


In summary, a cohabitation agreement is a powerful tool that can help unmarried couples protect their rights and assets. By outlining the responsibilities and expectations of both partners, cohabitation agreements can provide clarity and peace of mind. If you`re considering living with your partner, it may be worth consulting with a family law attorney to see if a cohabitation agreement is right for you.