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Cohabitation Agreements in Illinois

 Posted on August 19, 2016 in Family Law

Lombard family law attorneyMore couples are choosing to live together without being married than ever before. In fact, cohabitation is being called the "new normal," when it comes to living arrangements for younger couples. Three out of four women will have lived with a male partner before turning 30, according to one study. Whether you are considering marriage in the future or have decided to forego marriage altogether, it is still important to protect yourself and your rights while living together with a partner. A family law attorney can help you craft a cohabitation agreement and answer any other questions you may have.

Cohabitation Facts

A government study spanning the years 2006-2010 reported that nearly half of all women - 48 percent - in so-called first-unions, or long-term relationships with men, chose to move in with their partners prior to or in place of getting married. The figure represented a five percent increase from a similar study conducted in 1995. Roughly 40 percent of those cohabitants studied married their partner within the next three years, and another 32 percent continued to live with their partner without getting married.

Cohabitation Agreements Are a Must-Do

Much like signing a lease or obtaining renter's insurance, making a legal cohabitation agreement is another important order of business that should not be neglected. Not having a cohabitation agreement in place can spell disaster - both financially and emotionally - for couples who break up after having built a life together. Even without marriage, cohabitation entwines two lives, and with no agreement spelling out how the breakup affects your property, debts, and responsibilities, the uncertainty can cause nearly as much upheaval as ending a marriage.

What Do Cohabitation Agreements Entail?

Your cohabitation agreement can cover any manner of disputes that could arise following a breakup of your relationship, as well as agreements about how each party will carry out his or her responsibilities during cohabitation. Some common matters addressed in cohabitation agreements include but are not limited to:

  • Your lease or mortgage - who pays, whether one party reimburses the other, whose name is on what;
  • Property and asset division including personal property prior to cohabitation, as well as joint property acquired during cohabitation;
  • Custody of and responsibility for pets;
  • How joint bank will accounts be treated;
  • What happens to the residence in case of breakup;
  • Responsibility for expenses, insurance, and utilities; and
  • Maintenance, upkeep and repair of dwelling and grounds.

Consult an Experienced Cohabitation Lawyer

To learn more about your rights and responsibilities in your current living arrangement, contact an experienced Lombard family law attorney. We can help you decide what important matters need to be addressed in your Illinois cohabitation agreement. Choosing cohabitation can be a meaningful and empowering choice - especially when you take steps to protect yourself should the relationship ultimately end.



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