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Tips for Discussing a Cohabitation Agreement with Your Partner

If you plan to move in with a partner to whom you are not married, you might consider drafting a cohabitation agreement. This agreement acts similarly to a prenuptial agreement in that it protects your assets and defines certain responsibilities in the relationship, mostly with regard to how expenditures will be shared.

As with a prenuptial agreement, raising the subject of a cohabitation agreement can be difficult and sometimes emotional. It could put a damper on what is a very romantic idea: moving in with your partner for the first time. Therefore, it’s important to be tactful in how you raise the subject if you think it is an idea worth pursuing.

The following are some tips to consider:

  • Have the conversation alone: You should choose a time where you are alone with each other in a private area where there is no risk of being interrupted. The timing should be right — you should have the conversation while you are both in good spirits, when you’re not busy with another task and never after an argument.
  • Create the agreement together: A cohabitation agreement is something you and your spouse should work through together if it is to be truly effective. If one partner creates the agreement for the other to sign, it’s unlikely to hold up in court, as it would could be considered to be a one-sided agreement.
  • Go through all responsibilities: Consider all of the responsibilities that are likely to come up when you are living with each other, from the various household chores you’ll need to complete to the bills you’ll have to play, and devise a plan for how you’ll share these responsibilities.
  • Go through possessions: It can help to clearly delineate who has ownership of certain possessions, especially valuable ones, to prevent any disputes if you should break up.

For more information on drafting legal cohabitation agreements, contact an experienced Minnesota family law attorney with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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