3 frequently asked questions about cohabitation agreements

So you are living with the love of your life, but you two have decided not to pursue marriage. Whether this is a temporary or permanent decision, you might feel a sense of freedom. However, without marriage, you are also without certain protections. For example, how will you split up your assets if you break up? What about future support for any children?

If you want to enjoy some of the protections of marriage without the vows, you might want to create a cohabitation agreement. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about this type of contract.

1. What exactly is it?

A cohabitation agreement, also referred to as a living together contract, lays out who owns what assets and how to handle them if your relationship goes south. It can designate how to divide your belongings and savings  and any legal obligations to support children. You can also use this agreement to determine what will happen with shared bank accounts and debts. It can also determine your daily finances as a couple.

2. How do we put it together?

First, you should decide who owns what, how to split assets and what you both want from the contract. Getting on the same page is important before bringing lawyers into the picture. After you agree on asset ownership, you should seek legal assistance to make sure the agreement is properly written.

3. Is there anything else I should do?

A cohabitation agreement is a great way to protect your assets, but you should also consider creating a will. If you pass away without one, your may leave your assets to members of your immediate family. This can be a problem if you want your partner to get some of your property.

Living together is fun and exciting, but according to Time Magazine, you should consider a cohabitation agreement to protect your belongings.