Raleigh Cohabitation Agreement Attorneys
As the national rate of divorce increases and the rate of first marriage and remarriage decreases, many committed couples choose to live together rather than enter into marriage. Some couples live together in preparation for when they do decide to marry; other couples live together for a variety of reasons including: they are unable to legally get married; they may not want to get married because the marriage could upset their family, complicate their religious practices or affect their legal rights to receive retirement benefits from a former spouse. Some couples are recognized as being married under common law in one state but have moved to a state that does not recognize common law marriage, such as North Carolina. Others simply do not want the government involved in their relationship. For whatever reason a couple decides to postpone marriage or forgo it altogether, a carefully crafted, legally binding Cohabitation Agreement can be a necessity
A Cohabitation Agreement [alternatively referred to as a “Domestic Partnership Agreement”] is a contract between two unmarried people which can dispose of some or all of their rights, responsibilities and obligations which arise during their relationship. Because a cohabiting relationship does not afford individuals the types of legal rights, remedies and protections that a marital relationship does, a Cohabitation Agreement is essential to ensure that neither person is left unprotected. Unlike the legal rights of a couple who are married, there are no such rights afforded unmarried couples in North Carolina and for all intents and purposes, they are treated as complete strangers by the law.
There are numerous benefits to entering into a Cohabitation Agreement. Those benefits include establishing each others rights to make medical decisions, establishing rights to guardianship in case the partner becomes incapacitated, allowing the parties to establish rights to children for support and custody [while this is not necessarily binding on the Court, it does define the parties’ intent], establishing how the couple is going to divide household expenses, and defining each others rights to real property including how property rights would be divided if the relationship ends. Having a well-constructed Cohabitation Agreement can help to minimize the anxiety and the severity of a dispute if a breakup occurs.
Contact our office (919) 803-6778 to schedule a confidential consultation
The attorneys at the McNeil Law Firm can guide you through the process of negotiating and drafting a legally binding Cohabitation Agreement. Our lawyers offer personal assistance and checklists of the financial information that needs to be gathered to ensure that our attorneys are able to draft a Cohabitation Agreement that ensures that all of your matters, financial accounts and concerns are carefully addressed.
Mediating Cohabitation Agreements
If you need assistance mediating the terms of your Cohabitation Agreement with your partner, we can help. Mr. McNeil is a Certified Mediator and can assist with the mediation and drafting of your Cohabitation Agreement. Our warm and inviting office provides free-parking, WiFi, large conference rooms, and is handicap-accessible. Our office is conveniently located in Midtown Raleigh and is easily accessible from downtown Raleigh, North Hills Mall, Triangle Town Center, Crabtree Valley Mall, or Durham via I-550, I-440, Capital Blvd. and Highway 70.
The information contained on this site is provided as a public service for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a comprehensive statement of the law. The reader is advised to check for changes to current law and to consult with a qualified attorney on any legal issue before taking action of any kind. The information presented on this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or to create or imply the formation of a lawyer-client relationship between the reader and this firm.
Written By: John McNeil