Cohabitation Agreements And Related Legal Issues
If you are in a relationship that lies outside the traditional marriage, you should consider a cohabitation agreement in order to clarify your rights and responsibilities with respect to your partner. These agreements can greatly benefit partners by granting rights that are otherwise reserved for spouses.
At the Law Offices of David M. Lederman, our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience drafting agreements for same-sex and heterosexual couples regardless of their marital status. We offer that experience coupled with overall efficiency and personal, compassionate service. For more information on how we can help you, contact us online or call 925-522-8889 to reach our Antioch or Moraga law offices.
Understanding the Law Regarding Nonmarital Relationships
A cohabitation agreement is an agreement between parties who plan to live together or are already living together in an intimate relationship. These agreements can govern the parties’ personal financial arrangements, business arrangements and potential future property transactions.
Unlike prenuptial, postnuptial and marital settlement agreements, cohabitation agreements fall under contract law rather than family law. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including:
- To keep property interests separate
- To provide for joint property
- To clarify each person’s rights
- To create a partnership or other business entity
- To treat the parties’ respective interests as though they were married
Registered Domestic Partnerships
In 2003, California passed a law that established registered domestic partnerships. These arrangements bestow most of the same general rights and responsibilities as marriage does. Couples desiring to enter into these relationships must file a Declaration of Domestic Partnership, which requires that the parties be either of the same sex or that one partner be 62 years of age or older.
Domestic partners now have more rights. These rights were only available through express agreement or through marriage prior to the 2003 law. Some of the ways in which these relationships are now equal with marriage include:
- The same treatment as spouses receive for California income tax purposes
- Rights to receive and pay spousal support
- Community property rights
- The right to visit a partner who has been hospitalized
- The same treatment as a spouse under health insurance policies
- The right to make decisions on health care for an incapacitated partner
- The same rights under California laws as a surviving spouse, such as the right to death benefits and intestate succession
A Law Firm Protecting Your Interests Regardless of Marital Status
Whether you are married, unmarried, of the same sex or opposite sex, our attorneys can help you develop agreements that establish the rights and responsibilities of each partner. Our goal is to provide our clients with confident, experienced legal counsel along with efficient resolution of their legal issues.
The key element of our philosophy that keeps our clients returning to us for their legal needs is always our personal, compassionate customer service. We care about you, your family and your future.
Contact Our Antioch Palimony Lawyers Today
We are available to answer questions, help you create essential documents and represent you in legal actions related to your same-sex relationship or any nonmarital relationship. If you have questions about registered domestic partnerships or cohabitation agreements, contact our attorneys online or call 925-522-8889 today to schedule a consultation. We want to hear about your case and discuss your options.