Many couples live together in Los Angeles, California, without entering into a domestic partnership or getting married. However, what happens if the couple decides to split up?
In these circumstances, a family court does not have jurisdiction to determine divorce issues related to property division, financial accounts, debts, and financial support. If the couple has a cohabitation agreement, however, it could resolve these matters.
Experience and legal knowledge matter when you are negotiating a cohabitation agreement. Our Los Angeles family law attorneys at Berenji & Associates have decades of experience and understand how to evaluate these complex issues.
Our award-winning attorneys have been recognized by many professional legal organizations, such as Super Lawyers and The National Trial Lawyers. We also have a perfect rating with Avvo, and they awarded us the Avvo Client’s Choice Award.
Contact our family law firm to schedule a consultation with an experienced Los Angeles cohabitation agreement lawyer.
How Berenji & Associates Can Help You With a Cohabitation Agreement in Los Angeles
Suppose you believe a cohabitation agreement might be appropriate for you and your partner. In that case, hiring an experienced Los Angeles family lawyer to prepare the agreement is essential. The court is unlikely to enforce a cohabitation agreement drafted or executed incorrectly.
When you hire our top-rated family law attorneys, you can expect us to:
- Explain how a cohabitation agreement works and the process of negotiating an agreement with your partner
- Gather evidence to support your position regarding the issues covered in the agreement
- Work with you to develop terms for a cohabitation agreement that is fair and in your best interest
- Aggressively represent you during negotiations and discussions
- Objectively provide sound legal advice regarding your options and rights as you enter into a cohabitation agreement
We want to help you protect your interests by developing a fair agreement that encompasses all matters of concern. Call our law firm to schedule an initial consultation to discuss cohabitation agreements with an experienced cohabitation agreements attorney in Los Angeles, CA.
What Is a Cohabitation Agreement in California?
Cohabitation is an arrangement between two adults who live together. They might be married spouses, domestic partners, or unmarried partners. A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding contract between the parties that resolve financial issues if the parties decide to break up.
A cohabitation agreement can cover numerous issues, including but not limited to:
- Financial support during and after the relationship
- Jointly owned property and investments
- Payment of shared costs, such as housing, food, utilities, and more.
- How to divide shared property acquired during the relationship
- How to resolve disputes regarding the agreement (i.e., binding arbitration or mediation instead of litigation)
Cohabitation agreements are important in California because the state does not recognize common law marriage. Therefore, you could live with someone for years and accumulate assets, but you would not be entitled to community property rights because you are unmarried. Therefore, having a cohabitation agreement can protect your financial interests should you decide to part ways.
The agreement is essentially a contract between two parties. As a result, the parties must agree to the contract terms and sign the agreement willingly and freely.
Coercing or threatening someone to sign a cohabitation agreement could render the agreement invalid. Likewise, using fraud and deception to entice a party to enter a cohabitation agreement could invalidate the agreement.
Cohabitation agreements should be in writing. While California courts can enforce verbal agreements, winning a case is much more challenging when the agreement is not in writing. It is also wise to have separate legal counsel to ensure the parties are treated fairly and there is no coercion or misunderstanding regarding the agreement.
When Do Parties Need a Cohabitation Agreement in Los Angeles?
A cohabitation agreement is a good idea whenever you live with someone as an intimate partner. However, you should strongly consider a cohabitation agreement if you:
- Have substantially more money and assets than your partner
- Plan to leave the workforce to become a full-time parent or homemaker
- Are making payments toward a home or property owner by your partner
- Have a business or other interests you need to ensure remain separate
- Want to clarify the financial arrangements with your partner, including future financial support if you remain together and if you decide to separate
Cohabitation agreements can also apply to roommates who do not have an intimate relationship. The agreement can set forth who takes the shared property if a roommate moves out and how shared costs will be divided between the parties.
A cohabitation agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in that it decides how a couple will handle finances during their relationship and in the event of a breakup. The agreements can also strengthen a relationship by removing potential sources of dispute regarding financial matters.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Los Angeles Cohabitation Agreement Lawyers
Are you considering moving in with someone or currently living with a partner? If so, a cohabitation agreement can help protect your rights should you decide to end the relationship. Call us for a consultation with a Los Angeles divorce attorney to discuss how a cohabitation agreement could benefit you.