Protecting your assets, and your future, is an important step for everyone to take. Although many people associate estate planning with being married, or having kids, there are options available for everyone. In Minnesota, many couples choose to live together without getting married. Thanks to cohabitation agreements, you can make sure that your interests are protected in the event that your relationship fails. If you are unmarried and living with someone in the state of Minnesota, our attorneys can help you understand your options.
Understanding Cohabitation Agreements in Minnesota
In the state of Minnesota, cohabitation occurs when domestic partners choose to live together without getting married. Couples who cohabitate often share bank accounts and property. Other than absence of a marriage license, these couples may live exactly like a married couple. However, since they are not married, they also may not have the same protection or benefits as a couple who is. Therefore, a cohabitation agreement is an essential part of this type of relationship.
When a married couple chooses to divorce, there are set rules established for how property is divided. While a divorce can be difficult, the courts offer certain protection to married couples. When couples live together without a marriage license, they do not have these same considerations. A cohabitation agreement creates a similar layer of security that marriage offers. In the event that a cohabitating couple decides to break up, the agreement establishes the rules for how their property will be divided. This can make a split much easier, especially when bank accounts and property have been shared. In fact, a cohabitation agreement can even make this break up easier than the divorce process.
Do I need a Cohabitation Agreement?
Only you and your partner can decide if a cohabitation agreement is right for you. Much like a prenuptial agreement, some partners feel threatened by this document. However, it shouldn’t be viewed as a threat. Instead, it should be viewed as a way to keep the parties involved in the relationship safely. Without this agreement, the courts will have to decide how any shared assets and property are split – usually in direct proportion to each party’s financial contribution toward that item. With the cohabitation document, the division becomes a much more straightforward process (and equitable).
A cohabitation agreement is especially important in cases where children are involved. Whether you and your partner are parents together, or if your have children from a previous relationship, a cohabitation agreement can make things much easier on your kids, in the event that your relationship comes to an end.
While a cohabitation agreement is very important, it is only one piece of a more broad estate plan. It does not replace other important documents like living wills and healthcare directives. If you unmarried and living with someone in the state of Minnesota, then our attorneys are here to help you protect your assets and guide you through the process. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. at 763-323-6555 for a free consultation.