Cohabitation Agreements

With the divorce rate consistently high, and the divorce process stacking up money and time, more couples are finding it easier to cohabitate instead of getting married.  Cohabitating can also be the precursor to marriage for many individuals.  However, because you are not a married couple, there can be benefits to which you and your partner miss out on.  There are no laws protecting unmarried couples if there is a separation, so you have to seek financial security on your own.  Cohabitation agreements are an alternative to premarital agreements for married couples.  If you are interested in obtaining a cohabitation agreement with your partner, consult with a lawyer who has experience in cohabitation agreements.

Brownsville Attorney for Cohabitation Agreements

Though you never anticipate a separation, you still need to be prepared in case something does happen.  Cohabitating is not protected by the same laws that apply to married couples.  In case of a separation, it can be difficult to decide the division of property without a legal documentation.  However, cohabitation agreements can be the contract that makes sure all those years of living together get accounted for fairly and reasonably.  The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. can help you prepare financially by drafting a cohabitation agreement.

If you are financially dependent on your cohabitating partner, you can benefit from a cohabitation agreement.  In case of a separation, you do not want ten years of contributing to your relationship to go to waste.  Let one of our attorneys discuss your current situation and concerns by calling us at 956-504-2211 for a confidential consultation.

At, The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , we want to protect our clients’ financial well-being by working with them to create a contract that will satisfy their financial security and plans.  We can review your case to see if a cohabitation agreement is the best option for your situation.  We work with clients in the counties of Willacy, Hidalgo, and Cameron. 

Overview of Cohabitation Agreements in Brownsville, Texas

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Who are Cohabitation Agreements useful for?

Cohabitation couples are contracts designated for individuals who are living together and have consummated their relationship without being married.  A cohabitating agreement is a legal binding contract, comparable to a marital agreement, that can determine the property rights and obligations of each person within the relationship should the relationship end.

Cohabitation agreements can be useful for any of the following:

  • Couples who don’t want to get married
  • Same-sex cohabitating couples
  • Couples who haven’t officiated their common law marriage
  • Couples living together for a long period of time
  • Couples sharing business, property, or assets
  • Couples with a significant difference in incomes
  • Couples where one person is a stay at home parent or homemaker
  • Couples where one person is of old age or has a terminal illness
  • Couples with kids and/or pets

When a couple does go through normal marriage procedures or officiates a common law marriage, the cohabitation agreement is no longer valid, and instead the married couple must now follow division of property marriage laws.  In that case, a premarital agreementcan be beneficial in an effort to keep the same terms in effect in case of a separation.

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Texas Laws for Cohabitation Agreements

The Texas Family Code does not have a specific statute dedicated to cohabitation agreements; however, Tex. Family Code §1.108 states “A promise or agreement made on consideration of marriage or nonmarital conjugal cohabitation is not enforceable unless the promise or agreement or a memorandum of the promise or agreement is in writing and signed by the person obligated by the promise or agreement.”

A cohabitation agreement can include terms pertaining to the following:

  • Property Division
  • Assets Division
  • Life Insurance Division
  • Debt Division

Cohabitation agreements can serve as a powerful legal document in case you need to refer to them under a court of law.  Like premarital agreements, if a cohabitation agreement appears to be unreasonable or unfair, the court has the means to question the agreement.  Therefore, there can be indicators to determine if the cohabitation is bona fide:

  • Both parties signed the agreement willingly and voluntarily
  • Both parties were competent when accepting the terms of the agreement
  • The terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable
  • The terms of the agreement do not interfere with criminal laws or public policy

Without a cohabitation agreement, couples run the risk of having to follow regular division of property and assets laws.  However, those laws are not designed to protect unmarried couples living together and run the risk of falling short sighted.

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Additional Resources

Pew Research Center | Cohabitating Data– The Pew Research Center page is a non-profit data collecting organization with key findings related to cohabitation in the United States.  According to the findings, cohabitating is now more common than living together while married.  The key findings also sight cohabitation as viewed more positive than before. | Young Adult Data– The United States Census Bureau provides data relating to cohabitation in the U.S. during the last 50 years.  The data analyzes how it is more common for unmarried adults to live together, compared to their older age counterparts.  The data also shows that, less people are married now than they were 40 years ago.

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Attorney for Cohabitation Agreements in Cameron County, Texas

Communal and separate property laws work to assess division of property in marriages.  However, there are currently no laws written for the state of Texas that address division of property in case of a separation between unmarried couples.  If you and your partner decide to split after ten years of living together, what happens then?  You most likely have attained a good amount of wealth together over the years.  How does division get decided once you split up?  Cohabitation agreements can be the safekeeping for unmarried couples, similar to prenuptial agreements for married couples.  Cohabitation agreements can be established at any point during the cohabitating relationship.

At, The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. , we are dedicated to help our clients resolve their legal issues, while making it a simple process for them. If you are worried about your financial security with so many years invested into the relationship, we can help establish a cohabitation agreement.  A cohabitation agreement can also be legally enforced, so if you do decide to split up, and there are legal issues, the cohabitation agreement can serve as a good defense against contesting of property.

We work hard so you can rest easy.  Meet with one of our attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. by calling 956-504-2211 or fill out a free case review form at the bottom of the page. Our attorneys work with clients in Brownsville, Texas, and the counties of Willacy, Hidalgo, and Cameron.