Do You Need a Cohabitation Agreement in Jackson, MississippiAre you planning on moving together with your partner? Are you already living with your partner, but are unmarried? Have you put in writing each party’s responsibilities when it comes to financial responsibilities and rights? Married couples generally have a range of rights and responsibilities that are automatically granted by the marriage contract. Unmarried couples, however, may not enjoy the same rights. For example, if you were to split up, do you know who gets to keep the apartment if you have a rental? If you have a pet together, do you know who will have custody of the pet? If you made a purchase together, who will have the right to the property and how would shared property be divided in the event of a split? What happens if one of you gets seriously ill? Have you granted your partner the right to make major medical decisions on your behalf? Does your partner know your wishes? A cohabitation agreement is not just a document that is useful should you split, but it also is a document that allows each party to clearly outline responsibilities and also affords couples the ability to put in place protections for their relationship that could help them should one partner get sick. Have questions about what you’ll need to create a valid cohabitation agreement? With the strongest cohabitation agreements, both parties will each have their own attorney reviewing the document and including provisions to protect each party’s interests. Malouf & Malouf, PLLC is a divorce and family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to assist you if you need to put a cohabitation agreement in place. Cohabitation Agreements and Pets One of the major issues that a cohabitation agreement can address are custody issues regarding pets. In most states, pets are considered property. Absent any agreement, the person listed on a pet’s adoption papers will be considered the legal owner of the pet. Couples who get a pet together may put a cohabitation agreement in place to make clear who will have custody of the pet should the relationship end. The agreement might also include provisions for visitation and other rights. Have questions about how cohabitation can impact your rights? Malouf & Malouf, PLLC is a family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to help you. Property and Cohabitation Agreements Divorce law governs how property will be divided should a couple divorce. But there are no specific laws in place that governs what happens to a couple’s shared property if they are not married. A cohabitation agreement can spell out clearly what property will be considered shared property, what property is individually owned, and what property you both want to share going forward. Sometimes a cohabitation agreement might include provisions for what happens to property like a car or home should one partner pass away. Including property in a cohabitation agreement can be helpful especially if one partner will be helping the other partner pay for an asset originally only owned by one person. In a marriage, improvements or payments made to individual property could be claimed by the spouse that offered that additional support in a divorce, even if the property was originally only owned by one person before the marriage. In the case of cohabitation, the law isn’t so clear. A cohabitation agreement can make clear each party’s rights. Another issue that might be addressed in a cohabitation agreement is debt. If you plan to share a credit card or open a shared bank account, having a cohabitation agreement in place can make clear how debts would be divided should you break up. Malouf & Malouf, PLLC is a family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to assist you with drafting a cohabitation agreement that protects your individual rights while also ensuring that both parties are treated fairly with regards to shared property in the event of a break up. Advanced Directives and Inheritance A cohabitation agreement isn’t just about what happens should you and your partner break up—it is also a plan for the unexpected. If you suddenly pass away, is it clear who will inherit your property? If you want this to be your partner, you may need to spell this out in a cohabitation agreement. If you become seriously ill and want your partner making decisions for you, without a clear advanced directive, your partner may have no rights to make decisions for your health. Have questions about how a cohabitation agreement and other provisions can protect both you and your partner should the unexpected occur? Malouf & Malouf, PLLC is a family law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to help you. Reach out to our lawyer today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get in touch with a family law attorney at Malouf & Malouf, PLLC today.
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