Facts about the Cohabitation Agreement template

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is typically used when an unmarried couple chooses to live together. This agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is for two people in an intimate relationship who are also roommates who want to outline the living arrangement. A general cohabitation contract includes how the people living together will divide expenses and how things will be divided in the event the living arrangement ends. Also known as a living together agreement, this contract addresses what happens to individual property in the event one of the parties passes away.

Although it may not seem like the most romantic thing to do before living together, it is beneficial to sit down and discuss factors such as dividing rent, utilities and other expenses; defining individual and partner-owned assets and what happens if one of the parties decides to move out. This sets clear expectations and answers each partner’s questions. It also makes things less emotional and stressful in the event the living arrangement comes to an end.

Each state has its own provisions for what to include in cohabitation agreements, so if you choose to fill out this contract, make sure to double-check with your states as to what you should include. If there are friends who want to move in together, a roommate agreement is a more appropriate legal document.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement used for?

A cohabitation agreement is used when a cohabiting couple wants to move in together, and they want to protect the assets they bring as well as outline how to pay for household expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, cable, internet, groceries, furniture, and more. It also states what happens if the couple breaks up or if they decide they do not want to live together anymore. A contract makes it easier because it describes how to divide assets, property, and debt. It also protects the rights of unmarried cohabitants in the event a breakup causes legal issues.

Why should you use a Cohabitation Agreement?

There are numerous benefits of using a cohabitation agreement. It specifies what each partner brought into the living arrangement, which makes it easier to know who gets what if they move out. It also describes how to divide bills, if there will be a joint checking or savings account associated with living together and makes it clear what the process will be if the couple breaks up.

In many states, a cohabiting, non-married couple does not have legal status. Cohabitation agreements help determine the obligations and rights of the partners during the unmarried relationship and in the event, it ends. It also outlines protections for a partner if the other unmarried partner dies.

How to write a Cohabitation Agreement?

It may be challenging to know exactly what to include in a cohabitation agreement. Although each relationship is different, there are some major elements that you should incorporate.

  • Effective date: This is the date the agreement takes effect.
  • Payment of expenses: This is an important part of the agreement. The couple should decide if both names are going to be on the mortgage or lease. It determines how the couple divides up all household expenses, including insurance, utilities, entertainment, artwork, and more. It may also state whether the couple will open a joint account or have a joint credit card, and how to use the funds or pay the bills.
  • List of property: Each partner should include what personal property, assets, debts, and property rights they had before entering into the agreement. If the couple owns anything together at this time, this should also be listed.
  • Marriage effect: This states whether the contract stays in effect, is revised, or ends in the event of marriage.
  • Separation or death effect: This outlines what occurs if the couple separates or if a cohabiting partner dies. In general, separate property is not shared with the other person. In the event each wants the other to have inheritance rights, this wish should be clarified in a will instead of this document.
  • Signatures: Both partners should sign the contract. Witnesses signatures or a notarization may be required in some states.

How to fill out a Cohabitation Agreement with PDFSimpli in five steps?

  • 1: Prepare before filling out the agreement

    Because cohabitation agreements can be upheld in the courts, it should contain all the right information. The couple may want to have multiple discussions to determine how they want their living arrangement to be. Each couple should feel comfortable with the terms of the agreement before filling it in and signing it. Make sure each partner can afford the division of expenses, and that all separate property, assets, and debts are listed correctly. Preparing also makes it a lot quicker to fill in the actual document.

  • 2: Choose the right software for your needs

    You may think you have to design this agreement from scratch. Fortunately, there are templates that contain the necessary information and make completing the contract much easier. PDFSimpli is a user-friendly software program that offers numerous templates for living arrangement agreements. It offers benefits, such as the ability to save as you go, that some other programs do not.

  • 3: Fill out all relevant information of cohabitation agreement

    When it comes time to fill out the document, just follow the directions. PDFSimpli makes it easy to know where you fill in your information by highlighting the areas. You can also add your own language or edit the document if necessary.

  • 4: Review document

    It is imperative that both of you review the document before signing it. Review all information to ensure names are spelled correctly, the effective date is right and that all elements are included. Double check that the separate and joint property is correct, and that the amounts or percentages for paying expenses is accurate.

  • 5: Save, download and print agreement

    Save the final document, which then allows you to take multiple actions. You can download it into your files and print copies for signatures. Each partner should save a completed agreement for their records.

Cohabitation Agreement frequently asked questions

Having a cohabitation agreement does not automatically make it valid. A mistake some couples may make is to not sign the document, and this invalidates it. The partners must also have full disclosure regarding their assets and debts coming into the living arrangement, or else the judge will not honor the contract. The document is also invalid if each partner did not consult independent legal advice to signing the document or if one partner forced the other one to sign it.

Although the elements of a cohabitation and prenuptial agreement are similar, they are not the same. A prenup is only used if the couple is planning on getting married. In many states, a judge will not honor a prenuptial agreement if the couple ends up not tying the knot.

Although it may seem unnecessary to have a cohabitation agreement just for living together, it does provide some benefits and protections. Breaking up, especially if you live together, can be complicated and expensive. Without a contract, you could be on the hook for some of the debts of your partner, or you may have to divide some of your separate possessions with your now former partner. If you and your partner purchased any real estate or assets together, it could be messy if you do not determine ahead of time how to divide them.