By: Sara Prose, Esq.
Recently I wrote about whether to consider drafting a prenuptial agreement before you move in together. ( Prenuptial Agreement Blog ) Another option couples may wish to consider is a “Living Together Agreement.”
Upon marriage, couples obtain certain property rights under the law. For example, spouses obtain a marital interest in one another’s marital pension and 401(k)/IRAs earned during the marriage. Spouses also obtain a marital interest in real property and personal property obtained during the marriage.
If a couple is not married, there is no marital interest in real property or personal property obtained while the couple lives together. A “Living Together Agreement,” therefore, may be entered into, to create a legal right to property once a couple moves in together. For example, if a significant other owns a home and the non-owning significant other moves in, the non-owning significant other will obtain no property interest in the home regardless of whether he or she contributes to the mortgage. A “Living Together Agreement” could, therefore, provide that the non-owning significant other’s contributions to the mortgage create a property interest that otherwise would not exist under the law.
This is just one way that a “Living Together Agreement” can be valuable to a couple (heterosexual or same-sex) who lives together but do not intend to marry. If you would like to discuss whether a “Living Together Agreement” is right for you, please feel free to contact Mary Ellen Flynn (firstname.lastname@example.org).