Cohabitation Agreement Florida
Does Common Law Marriage Exist in Florida?
A couple may choose to cohabitate together but never legally marry. There are a variety of reasons for doing so; however, unfortunately for these couples, common law marriage is not deemed valid under Florida state law. As a result, these couples are not afforded the same rights as married couples.
Fortunately, cohabitation agreements exist, which protect each spouse’s property and assets in the event they end their relationship. Cohabitation agreements gained popularity before same-sex marriage was legalized in Florida in 2015 for offering same-sex couples similar access to the rights of married couples.
What Is a Cohabitation Agreement?
Also referred to as domestic partnership agreement, a cohabitation agreement is a legally binding document founded on contract law that establishes financial stability before a couple decides to move in together and combine their life and assets. The aim of such an agreement is to protect both individuals in the event of a breakup by outlining how they should handle matters including, assets, property, child support, debts, and/or alimony payments. The agreement also ensures the couple can resolve their issues out of court.
Reasons for Obtaining a Cohabitation Agreement
Cohabitation agreements are suitable for any couple who does not wish to get married but is still seeking the same rights afforded to married couples. Couples looking to keep their assets, property, and/or debts separate from their partner’s may also seek a cohabitation agreement. Additionally, a couple may seek out a cohabitation agreement to reside together before committing to marriage.
This agreement also provides security in terms of matters regarding estate administration. In the event one partner dies or becomes incapacitated, a valid cohabitation agreement would grant the other partner permission to inherit his/her estate or make important medical decisions on their partner’s behalf. Additionally, without a cohabitation agreement, you risk not being included in your partner’s will.
What Does a Cohabitation Agreement Consist of?
A cohabitation agreement may be established to determine the following:
- Separate and Shared Assets: The agreement will outline how to divide shared assets in the event of a breakup. It will also detail which assets are separate and to whom they belong to.
- Child Support: Decisions regarding financial support required for any dependent child(ren) from either individual’s current or previous relationships will be outlined in this agreement.
- Debts: The agreement will cover which debts are joint and thus should be shared between both individuals.
- Alimony Payments: Support payments consist of financial support that one individual may be permitted to as determined in the cohabitation agreement.
Book a Consultation with a Reputable Lawyer from Our Firm
If you have any questions or concerns about Florida cohabitation agreements, book a consultation with our firm. At Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A., we pride ourselves on offering exceptional family law services. While we represent clients of all backgrounds, we specialize in matters pertaining to highly sensitive cases that require the utmost amount of confidentially and professionalism.