Research shows that more Americans than ever are living with one another before they ever get married. Some of these couples will never get married at all. A recent nationwide study also indicates that a majority of individuals in the United States believe that cohabitation for unmarried adults is acceptable.
It has become the new norm as a result of shifting expectations and gender roles in which many are choosing to delay marriage. Those who are thinking about getting married, though, should consider having a prenuptial agreement put together by a Coral Gables family lawyer in order to protect both spouses now and in the future.
Reasons to Plan Ahead
Understanding the benefits of planning ahead for a successful relationship, even if you are not married, can be beneficial. For example, having a cohabitation agreement that may ultimately morph into a prenuptial agreement if you decide to get married can protect both of you.
Although trends in society have indicated that more individuals are living together without being married than ever before, little if anything, has changed in the way that the law treats cohabiting couples, and in particular, their property if they do decide to get separated.
Why You’re Not Protected without Legal Agreements
The law essentially does not recognize a living together relationship outside of a civil partnership or a marriage unless you have a documented cohabitation agreement.
This means that a cohabiting relationship could break down and leave a weaker partner exposed to serious risk. This is particularly true when there are children involved.
Do We Need a Cohabitation Agreement?
Cohabiting couples have very little rights without a cohabitation agreement. You might be under the impression that if you are not married you are fine to go without any agreements but you could be exposing yourself and your children to risk.
Unmarried couples have the option of putting together several different types of legal documents to help protect their rights as a couple, while also protecting their individual assets and interests.
A cohabitation agreement is put into place in order to protect one or both partners while they are living together but not officially recognized by the law in any other way. If you’re living together before getting married, though, you might want to talk about a prenuptial agreement, too.
A Prenuptial Agreement
A prenuptial agreement, however, is a different document. A prenuptial agreement is an official legal document signed by both parties who intend to get married.
A prenuptial agreement can outline a variety of different aspects of the couple’s relationship while they are married and if they were to ultimately get divorced.
It is important to have a family law attorney review your prenuptial agreement or your cohabitation agreement in full. The primary reason for putting together a prenuptial agreement before getting married is to protect your assets in the event that the marriage ends in a divorce. M
ore couples are turning to these legal documents like cohabitation agreements or prenuptial agreements to protect themselves.
Recognizing that there are many different financial issues that can happen over the course of a marriage and even cause the marriage to break down, more couples are identifying and clarifying these issues upfront.
Historically, people have looked at prenuptial agreements as a less than romantic way to get on the same page financially as your partner. However, these can have significant benefits for minimizing arguments after you get married.
Consult with a Knowledgeable Coral Gables Prenuptial Agreement Attorney
By getting both parties on the same page after meeting with a Coral Gables prenuptial agreement attorney, you can have the peace of mind that a document is there to protect you.
Of course, as with any prenuptial agreement, you hope that the agreement terms will never need to be activated. But both spouses get the benefit of enhanced confidence and peace of mind that they are protected in the event that their relationship does end in divorce down the road.
Agreements are an essential part of protecting yourself as well as your children when you are involved in a relationship. Do not hesitate to reach out to a Coral Gables family lawyer to learn more about how a prenuptial agreement can benefit you.
About Author :
Aliette H. Carolan, Esq. is an experienced family lawyer at The Law Offices of Aliette H. Carolan, P.A. The law firm serves multiple locations across the state of Florida and handles a wide range of family law matters, such as children’s issues, surrogacy, divorce etc.