Cohabitation Agreement Attorney

Many people in Massachusetts choose to live together in a committed relationship but do not want to get married. These couples may buy and sell property together, have children and take care of each other as a married couple would. However, unmarried couples do not have the automatic legal protections of Massachusetts law if their relationship breaks down.

If you are in a committed relationship but do not plan to get married, a cohabitation agreement is highly recommended. These agreements allow a couple to give their relationship some of the protections that the law would give to them if they were married. At The Law Offices of Judith A. Wayne, our cohabitation agreement lawyer helps draft and review documents for couples throughout Massachusetts and the Boston area, including Marblehead and the North Shore. We also represent clients as far west as Pittsfield and as far east as Cape Cod and the Islands.

Call us at 781-691-9104 to learn more about cohabitation agreements and how we can help you.

Why Are Cohabitation Agreements Important?

If you are married, you have the protection of the probate court in the event of a divorce. However, if you are unmarried, unless you have a contract that defines how you want your assets divided in the event your relationship terminates, you will have a difficult time receiving what is rightfully yours. Without a cohabitation agreement, one person could end up with a disproportionate amount of property and the other could end up with virtually nothing, especially if both of you are making mortgage payments on a property that is only in one party's name. Much like a prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement allows you to outline your rights in the event your relationship ends.

Our firm can help you define the nature of your contractual relationship and create an agreement that is clear and unambiguous so that the court has grounds to enforce the agreement. During more than 30 years of practice, we have drafted these documents for many clients, and we can do the same for you.

Examples of Situations Where Cohabitation Agreements Are Especially Useful

If you and your partner find yourself in any of these situations, we would strongly advise you to speak with us about creating a cohabitation agreement:

  • If you have real estate held in only one person's name
  • If you operate a business together
  • If one of you pays most of the household expenses
  • If one of you has supported the other during graduate school

Prenuptial agreements can also be used in anticipation of cohabitation. For unmarried, cohabitating couples, prenuptial agreements can offer them a great deal of stability and protection. These agreements are especially useful for cohabitating couples or domestic partners since they are not given the traditional protections and benefits that married couples receive. By establishing the property and rights of each party beforehand, couples can prevent lawsuits and constructive trusts in the event that they end their relationship.

If you are living together with another person but are not married, a prenuptial-type agreement, referred to as a cohabitation agreement, can protect your financial interests if the relationship ends. Otherwise, the person you live with could sue you to establish a constructive trust, breach of contract, or quantum meruit. For more information, see constructive trusts and prenuptial agreements.

Contact a Lawyer Who Has Drafted Numerous Cohabitation Agreements

By establishing your property and individual rights ahead of time, you can prevent complications later. To schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney, call 781-691-9104. You can also contact our law firm online.

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