Lawrenceville Cohabitation Agreements Lawyer
Are you considering a cohabitation agreement? More and more people are living together as unmarried partners. A recent study by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that there are about 17 million people living together as unmarried couples in the U.S. – a number that has nearly tripled in twenty years.
If you and your partner are living together but are not married, you may want to consider a cohabitation agreement to address property division, debt, financial support, and other important financial issues. A cohabitation agreement lawyer at Crystal Wright Law can help. For more than a decade, we’ve been helping people navigate issues related to financial division of assets in relationships.
We routinely handle all types of agreements for married and unmarried partners. Our small firm size means that you will get the personal attention you deserve, that you will not be rushed when asking questions, and you will get a customized agreement tailored to fit your needs.
How Crystal Wright Law, LLC Can Help With a Cohabitation Agreement
It might feel a little awkward to think about developing a financial agreement between you and your partner. But it does not have to be that way. Whether you want to make sure you are treated fairly if you split up, or whether you want to address financial obligations while you are together, a cohabitation agreement is a smart financial decision that can help both you and your partner.
Founding attorney Crystal has devoted nearly a decade to helping individuals and families resolve difficult legal issues. She is known for providing compassionate yet zealous advocacy for her clients. Crystal Wright Law, LLC has been recognized with the “Avvo Client’s Choice Award” for her outstanding attention to client needs.
When you hire our compassionate Lawrenceville family law attorneys, we’ll:
- Help you have an honest and civil conversation with your partner
- Get an understanding of what you want to get out of the agreement
- Help you think about current and future financial issues that affect you and your partner
- Help you get a complete picture of what the agreement should cover
If your partner has presented you with an agreement, we’ll review it to be sure the terms are fair. We can help you put together an agreement that can put your mind at ease so that you can get on with your life without worry.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is an agreement between a couple who lives together but are not married. Many people choose to remain unmarried, but they still have valuable assets that they would like to protect in the event of a separation. A cohabitation agreement allows unmarried couples to set out terms for what will happen to certain property or assets if they decide to go their separate ways.
A cohabitation may also address financial issues or expectations during the partnership, not just in the event of a breakup. Such an agreement can prevent assumptions or resentment about who is going to pay for what in the household.
Is Cohabitation a Common Law Marriage in Georgia?
No. Georgia no longer recognizes common law marriage. Today, if you aren’t officially married, you are not considered married in Georgia. That means you do not have the protections or rights that you would have if you were married.
If you separate, you won’t have rights to any property other than what you own individually — unless you have a valid and enforceable cohabitation agreement.
Is Cohabitation a Domestic Partnership?
Domestic partnerships provide some legal rights which you do not have when you are cohabitating. A cohabitation agreement can address issues that provide financial security.
Can I Get a Cohabitation Agreement in Georgia?
While there is not a specific provision for them under Georgia statutes, cohabitation agreements have been recognized as valid by the Georgia Supreme Court. A cohabitation agreement is simply a contract between two parties. In that respect, a cohabitation is much like a prenuptial agreement, and would likely be reviewed in a similar way under Georgia law.
Like prenuptial agreements, a cohabitation should generally be enforceable as long as it is:
- Not signed under duress, mistake, fraud, or misrepresented facts
- Not unconscionable
- Not unreasonable or unfair due to changed circumstances since its execution
A cohabitation agreement lawyer can help you put together an agreement that will address any concerns you have about navigating financial issues with your partner.
Why Do I Need a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement can give you financial protection. If you aren’t married, you have no legal protections under the law. When you live with your partner without a cohabitation agreement, you really have no more rights than roommates.
A cohabitation agreement can set expectations for how financial responsibilities may be divided in the household. It can also protect your right to shared property in the event of a separation. Many couples fight about money. Getting a cohabitation agreement can encourage openness and trust so that there are no surprises about financial issues.
How Do I Get a Cohabitation Agreement?
An experienced Lawrenceville family law attorney can help you with a cohabitation agreement. Although family law lawyers typically deal with marital issues, cohabitation agreements deal with the same financial issues.
When you start the process to get a cohabitation agreement, it will involve:
- Having an open discussion with your partner about finances
- Creating an inventory of debts
- Creating an inventory of property, business interests, bank accounts, investments, and other assets
- Making decisions about what current financial responsibilities or agreements you want to make clear in the agreement
- Making decisions about what rights you want to protect in the event of a separation
It’s also a good idea to review your estate plan to make sure it is consistent with what you want to include in your cohabitation agreement. If you don’t have an estate plan, now is a good time to do that, too. That may include a will, trust, a power of attorney, as well as health care directives.
Many of these documents can work together with a cohabitation agreement to help you meet your financial planning goals.
How Is a Cohabitation Agreement Enforced?
If one party is not abiding by the cohabitation agreement, the other party can go to court to enforce the agreement. Because it is not a marital agreement, the process is different from a divorce.
A cohabitation agreement is a contract between two parties living together. As such, it will be treated as a contract dispute in civil court.
What Is Covered in a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement can address any financial issues or concerns that you may have. It likely would not cover child custody or child support issues, as Georgia has specific laws to handle those matters.
A cohabitation agreement in Georgia may cover:
- Who will pay the rent or mortgage
- Whose name the lease or mortgage will be in
- Who pays for medical insurance
- How cars will be titled
- How business interests are divided
- Disposition of family heirlooms
- Employment expectations of either party
- Who is responsible for existing or future debts
- What happens to the house in the event of a separation
- Whether either party agrees to financial support in the event of a separation
- A process for making large financial decisions
- A process for making changes to the agreement
- How retirement will be planned
- Agreements about pets
A cohabitation agreement, much like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, is not just for couples with a lot of assets. Whatever you own, you have a right to protect it for your peace of mind.
Disagreements often happen when assumptions are made, or expectations are unclear. A cohabitation agreement can alleviate some major points of stress with your partner.
Contact Crystal Wright Law, LLC for Help With a Cohabitation Agreement
If you are living with someone but choose not to get married in Lawrenceville, GA, a cohabitation agreement lawyer can help you protect your assets and give you peace of mind about finances. Crystal Wright Law, LLC has helped countless couples navigate complex financial issues for more than a decade.
We offer free consultations, so contact us online or call today.