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Cohabitation Agreements for Unmarried Couples

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Do You Need a Novi Cohabitation Agreement Attorney?

Protecting your assets is an important step for all adults to take, whether you are single, married, or living together as an unmarried couple. In Michigan, as in all states, many couples choose to live together without being married. If you’re looking for a Novi cohabitation agreement attorney then contact Melissa Pearce.  

While we all want to believe that our relationships will last forever, the sad truth is that many do not. Having a cohabitation agreement in place is the same as a pre or postnuptial agreement—or even the same as purchasing a home, car, life, or health insurance. Should life go awry, having a cohabitation agreement in place can make the difference between an all-out, expensive legal battle and a peaceful resolution to most issues.  

When you live with another person and are not legally married to that person, you are cohabiting with that person. Those who cohabitate often share property, bank accounts, and all the things married couples share. Because they don’t have the legal protections of marriage, a cohabitation agreement is essential to this type of relationship. A cohabitation agreement creates a layer of security that is similar in nature to what married couples have. Such an agreement makes breaking up with your partner even simpler than getting a divorce.  

Since you cannot have a cohabitation agreement on your own, your partner must be in agreement. Some individuals feel threatened by a cohabitation agreement in the same way some feel threatened by a pre or postnuptial. Such an agreement is simply a way to keep both parties safe and when the document is in place a split becomes much more straightforward and equitable. Having a Novi cohabitation agreement attorney assist you with your agreement ensures it is done correctly and legally.   

How Melissa Pearce Can Help Unmarried Couples Draft Cohabitation Agreements

Novi cohabitation agreement attorney Melissa Pearce is highly skilled in all aspects of family law, including cohabitation agreements. Melissa strongly believes that when you know what to expect, the entire process becomes much less overwhelming. You can think more strategically and clearly when all your questions have been thoroughly answered in an easy-to-understand manner. We also believe that while a breakup is often emotional, it does not necessarily have to be contentious.  

Deep down, most people simply want the best for their children and a peaceful transition for themselves. When there is a cohabitation agreement in place, this is much more likely to occur. Attorney Melissa Pearce has been representing Michigan families for more than a decade. Melissa has dedicated her practice to treating every client with dignity and respect. If you are considering a cohabitation agreement, Melissa Pearce & Associates is the law firm for you.  

What Should a Cohabitation Agreement Include? 

A Novi cohabitation agreement attorney from Melissa Pearce & Associates will determine your goals in having an agreement, as well as thoroughly assess the financial situations for you and your partner. A cohabitation agreement is a contract, therefore, has the same type of requirements as a contract. Issues a cohabitation agreement can cover include the following: 

  • How your principal residence (your home) will be divided upon a split between you and your partner or upon the death of one partner 
  • Whether any financial support will be given to one partner from the other during the relationship or after the relationship has ended  
  • How assets and property will be distributed should you split up or if one partner dies  
  • A cohabitation agreement can determine which partner will get the couple’s pet or pets in the event of a breakup. 
  • Responsibility for health care insurance from one partner to another 
  • Custody and support for any children you have with your partner can be included in a cohabitation agreement, although a Michigan court can modify or reject the terms based on the best interests of the child 
  • A joint tenancy with right of survivorship can be created for properties owned by both partners 
  • The cohabitation agreement can include advanced health care directives or health power of attorneys so the partners can make decisions for one another in the event of  incapacity.  
  • Previously owned property of each partner should be addressed and designated as sole and separate property. The same is true of the debt each partner had before moving in together.  
  • A cohabitation agreement can designate how rent or mortgage payments will be made, as well as who is responsible for utility bills, groceries, and other joint expenses. If auto insurance, property insurance, or renter’s insurance are combined, this should also be addressed.  
  • Properties and debts acquired while you and your partner are together will be addressed in the cohabitation agreement and may include real property, vehicles, joint bank accounts, furniture, electronics, artwork, appliances, and more. 

A cohabitation agreement can be supplemented with a will for each partner that further gives credence to the wishes of each partner in the event one is incapacitated or dies. 

Is a Cohabitation Agreement Legally Binding? 

Having a Novi cohabitation agreement attorney from Melissa Pearce ensures your agreement is well-prepared and legally binding. The agreement must be written and must be signed by both parties. Having the document notarized adds another lawyer of legality to the agreement. The agreement must also include “consideration.” This means that something is given in consideration for something else.  

As an example, you and your partner may decide that he or she will stay home and care for the children while your income will support the family financially. Consideration does not have to be equal—it can be anything you and your partner agree on, so long as the details are clearly spelled out. Attorney Melissa Pearce will explain the agreement to you in detail, answering any questions you may have, then will prepare the document under the laws of Michigan.  

Should I Have a Cohabitation Agreement? 

Only you and your partner can decide whether to have a cohabitation agreement—although having one is virtually always a good idea and one that can make a huge difference in the event of a split or death. The longer you live together with your partner, the more important it is to have a cohabitation agreement. This is true especially when there are big financial differences between you and your partner or when one partner is living in a home owned by the other.  While there are other ways you can prove property and asset rights, they are generally more complex and involve more time in court than having a cohabitation agreement drawn up. 

Getting the Help You Need from Novi Cohabitation Agreement Attorney Melissa Pearce 

Novi cohabitation agreement attorney, Melissa Pearce wants to change the way people see divorce or breakups between unmarried partners as an adversarial process. Not only can a highly contentious split cause hard feelings that remain for years to come, but children can also be traumatized unless parents find a way to work together toward a peaceful solution.   

Litigation should always be a last resort when one party simply refuses to work toward an amicable resolution. Melissa will listen closely to you, working to understand your desired outcomes. Not only does Melissa provide legal guidance, but she also provides emotional support during this challenging time as well.  Contact Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC, today to discuss your cohabitation agreement.  

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