When married couples go through a divorce, there are legal rights to protect each individual when it comes to child support, custody, division of marital property, alimony, and spousal support. However, when it comes to unmarried couples that live together, the legal rights of these individuals may not be as protected in the case of a break-up or other complication compared to those who are married. This is where couples might consider a cohabitation agreement that provides unmarried couples the same legal rights as married couples in the case of a separation. Continue reading to discover how cohabitation agreements protect unmarried couples, how cohabitation may affect alimony, and how to get started by reaching out to our experienced family law attorney.
How Cohabitation Agreements Protect Unmarried Couples
For couples who live together and own property jointly like a family home, appliance, or even a pet together, it is possible for the legal scenario to be more complicated than a traditional divorce in the event of a breakup. It is important to note that utilizing a cohabitation agreement is typically used to protect your rights in the case of the separation, but it can also be used to assign legal rights during the relationship for reasons such as the power of attorney or the ability to make major medical decision on the behalf of your partner.
How Cohabitation Can Affect Alimony in New Jersey
The first step you should take when considering a cohabitation agreement is to gain the services of an experienced New Jersey family lawyer to assist this process. The next step to take is to decide what terms to include and what to omit within your agreement. The most commonly used terms within a cohabitation agreement include the following:
- Alimony, which may be considered palimony for non-married couples
- Child custody and child support may be factored into a cohabitation agreement so long as your terms are in the present, and not considerations for the future
- Assigning power of attorney and other legal rights to your partner
- Laying out your financial assets and discussing how they would be divided in the case of a separation.
- Giving your partner the right to inherit your assets in the event of your death
- This can include: life assurance, becoming an executor, becoming a benefactor, and more
Cohabitation agreements are considered contracts and are best created with the assistance of a knowledgeable legal professional. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today to discuss our services and begin drafting your cohabitation agreement to protect yourself and your partner.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.