How to Write Your Own Cohabitation Agreement

Cohabitation agreements are contracts made between unmarried couples who live together. In such agreements, couples can clarify their rights and responsibilities concerning finances, property, and other significant matters. Although they are not legally required, having a cohabitation agreement can provide security and avoid potential legal disputes in case of a break-up or separation.

If you have decided to create a cohabitation agreement, the following steps can guide you on how to write your own agreement:

1. Discuss Your Concerns

Before drafting an agreement, sit down with your partner and discuss the areas of concern. Make a list of the things you want to include in the agreement, such as property division, assets, liabilities, and financial contribution. Consider the laws of your state, as they may affect what you can and cannot include in the agreement.

2. Create an Outline

After deciding on the issues to include, create an outline for your agreement. You can consider using a template or sample agreement to understand how to structure your document. The outline should include a preamble, definitions, and separate sections for each topic.

3. Include Specific Details

Be sure to include specific details to avoid ambiguity in the agreement. For example, if you both contribute to shared expenses, specify how much each person is responsible for, and how payments should be made. You should also describe how you will divide property if the relationship ends.

4. Review and Revise

After drafting your agreement, review it carefully to check for inconsistencies, errors, and vague language. Seek legal guidance to review the agreement and ensure that it meets legal requirements in your state.

5. Sign and Notarize

Once you and your partner are satisfied with the agreement, sign it in front of a notary. This will make the agreement legally binding, and it can be enforced in court if necessary.

In summary, a cohabitation agreement can provide clarity and security for you and your partner. It is essential to discuss your concerns, create an outline, include specific details, review and revise, and sign and notarize the agreement. By following these steps, you can write your cohabitation agreement and protect your rights and interests in the event of a separation or breakup.