Before delving into what to include in the Florida Cohabitation Agreement, let’s first discuss what exactly it is and why you need one. A Cohabitation Agreement is a legal contract used by couples who live together but are not married. It serves a dual purpose by outlining the obligations and expectations of both parties, and also specifying how assets and debts may be divided if the relationship ends.
Why consider a cohabitation agreement?
Living together without a legal framework may seem exciting at first, but it can quickly turn sour when disagreements regarding assets and finances arise. In Florida, with no legal marriage license, couples cannot rely on divorce laws to plan their separation. It’s here the Florida cohabitation agreement comes into play.
There are key considerations when contemplating having a Florida Cohabitation agreement:
- Financial Protection: It secures individual assets accumulation as well as debts prior to and during the cohabitation.
- Estate Planning: Clearly defines what happens to assets on death since usually statutory default laws may not recognize an unmarried partner.
- Conflict Prevention: Helps in discussing financial arrangements and their disclosure, reducing potential disagreements down the line.
What should it include?
Excellent. When crafting a comprehensive Florida Cohabitation Agreement, these components should be included:
Introduction: Start with who both parties are, their cohabitation start date, and the core reason behind the draft agreement.
Asset List: Includes all collectively owned properties, investments, bank accounts, pensions, personal belongings, etc.
Income Treatment: Stipulates how earned income will be split or treated during cohabitation.
Expense Splitting: Defines how expenses like rent, utilities and food are to be split.
Asset Division: Discusses how assets will be divided after cohabitation ceases.
Debt Provisions: Outlines who is responsible for any debt brought into, or acquired during cohabitation, such as mortgage or vehicle payments.
Amendments Clause: Describes how the agreement can be modified or amended later.
These clauses only constitute a foundation of what to incorporate as the agreement varies according to individual needs. It could also contain partner’s decisions on child rearing if they have or are planning to have children.
Note: A sample Florida Cohabitation Agreement template is available exclusively but please remember to consult or hire a lawyer to receive advise specific to your situation.
Finalizing the agreement
The Florida cohabitation agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and attested by two witnesses for it to be enforceable. The witnessing eliminates any coercion or unconscionable dealings and strengthens the contract against any legal dispute.
In conclusion, a Florida cohabitation agreement is a legal way to protect your interests while ensuring clear communication between partners. It is strongly recommendable for anyone cohabitating. It is always advisable to get professional legal advice created specifically for your situation.
Remember, it is better to have safeguards in place and not need them rather than needing safeguards when it’s too late. Doing so can save a lot of emotional distress and financial loss in the unfortunate event of a relationship ending.
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