Unmarried Couples Living Together
There are many reasons that committed couples decide to live together but not get married. Although marriage provides inherent legal safeguards, it is possible to replicate these protections with legal documents that address:
- Buying a house together
- Parenting and child protection
- Ownership of property and assets
- Estate planning
- Settlement agreements
- Health directives
- Other legal agreements
There can be an overarching Living Together Agreement that addresses your mutual understanding of financial responsibilities, ownership of property and other assets, and other domestic partnership issues. You can also write separate agreements to address specific issues, such as parenting, financial support, home ownership, wills and trusts, and ownership of other valuable assets such as jewelry, vehicles and equipment. You can also set up health directives that will allow you to care for each other if one of you is injured or hospitalized so that you have the same rights as married couples in making health decisions for one another.
If an unmarried couple has children together, it’s critical to create an explicit agreement and paternity statement so that if anything ever happens to either of you or your child, there are clear guidelines for what will happen. Legal obligations exist even without a parenting agreement, but it will give you peace of mind to have your wishes in a legally binding agreement.
It is very important to get legal advice when creating these agreements to avoid certain pitfalls that will invalidate the documents. C4 Legal Assistance can provide expert help to make sure that your documents are set up correctly and file them with the court if necessary. Call (805) 585-3828 for your FREE CONSULTATION today!