When a Florida couple walks down the aisle and exchanges wedding vows, it's more than just a declaration of love and a romantic event. Marriage is actually a legal contract, and it offers certain protections to both parties. However, if you and your partner do not want to get married, there are still protections that could be available to you.
Unmarried couples do not have to marry in order to enjoy certain legal protections. In fact, many same-sex couples and other unmarried couples have non-marital agreements called living-together agreements, to protect their financial and legal interests. However, if you are considering one of these agreements, you would be prudent to ensure they are drafted correctly and are enforceable.
What makes a contract enforceable?
Like when other types of relationships end, couples who are living together may deal with disputes and other hardships when separating. There could be issues over property, money and even the home. Living-together contracts are legal contracts, and both parties would be wise to ensure they address property division as well as other complex issues, including:
- What happens to jointly owned and separate property if one partner dies
- How the two parties will address insurance expenses
- The possibility of financial support for one partner if the relationship ends
These are just some of the things you can address in your contract. The more thorough you are, the more likely it will be that you avoid unnecessary fights and questions over the validity of the contract.
However, there are times in which a dispute could lead to questions about the validity of a living-together agreement. When drafting yours, it is important for both parties to have time to read it, be aware of the terms included and for each to sign it of his or her own volition.
Dealing with family law complications
Breaking up after a long-term relationship is difficult, even if the couple lived together without getting married. A cohabitation agreement or a living-together contract can help ease the complications of this process.
If you have one of these agreements, you may find it beneficial to find out if yours is enforceable. If you do not have a living-together agreement but you are living with your partner, you may find it helpful to seek an evaluation of your case to learn more about the benefits of drafting a thorough and enforceable agreement that suits your needs.