Many couples today are choosing to live together without getting married in Orlando, FL. Cohabitation agreements are designed to provide protections for unmarried couples. If you’re considering entering an agreement as an unmarried partner, an Orlando cohabitation agreement lawyers at McMichen, Cinami & Demps can help protect your legal rights.
Our attorneys have over 50 years of experience resolving complex family law matters. We’d be proud to help you through the complex negotiation process.
It’s never too early to start exploring your legal options. If you have questions about cohabitation agreements, contact our law offices in Orlando, Florida, or call us at (407) 898-2161 to schedule a free consultation today.
Table of Contents
How McMichen, Cinami & Demps Can Help With a Cohabitation Agreement in Orlando, FL
There are many reasons couples choose to forgo marriage. However, if you’re living with someone and not married, you won’t automatically get the same protections given to legally married couples. You’ll have to enter a specific contract to protect yourself.
Not every contract is valid under Florida law. Before you sign a cohabitation agreement, it’s important to consult with an experienced Orlando family law attorney who can make sure you’re protected.
Our lawyers at McMichen, Cinami & Demps are trained in collaborative law. We have the skills to help you negotiate a contract that meets your needs–both now and in the future.
When you hire our attorneys, you’ll have a team who will:
Help you understand all of the terms of the agreement
Help you obtain fair disclosures from your partner
Ensure the contract is enforceable under Florida law
Protect you if your partner violates the terms of the agreement
Provide full-service advice for all of your ongoing family law matters
A cohabitation agreement can be the key to preventing unpleasant future surprises. If you’re living with someone else, our Orlando family law lawyers can help you determine the best course of action. To learn more about how we can help, please contact our divorce attorneys in Central Florida for a free initial consultation today.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
In Florida, married couples have rights to financial support and a fair share of their marital assets. Unmarried couples don’t have the same legal protections. Complications between unmarried partners can arise because Florida doesn’t recognize common law marriage.
However, Florida contract laws do allow unmarried parties to enter into a legally enforceable contract governing the parties’ rights and responsibilities.
A cohabitation agreement is a written contract between two unmarried people who live together. Cohabitation agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements. They’re generally entered into in order to clarify expectations and resolve legal matters that may arise.
The agreement isn’t meant to foreshadow the end of a relationship. Written agreements like these are designed to protect both parties in a relationship. When expectations are clear, a couple can often avoid a messy breakup. Cohabitation agreements can also provide protections when one party owns a shared home so that you aren’t forced to move out without warning.
What Issues Can a Cohabitation Agreement Address?
Cohabitation agreements can address issues that will arise during the relationship. They can also govern issues that will arise upon legal separation.
Cohabitations agreements often address:
Division of property and debts upon separation
Who is responsible for future debts
What property will be considered separate property
Whose name the house will be listed in
Who will make rent or mortgage payments
Who will pay for medical insurance
How you will pay for large financial purchases, such as a car or home
Pet custody issues
Whether either party will receive financial support if the couple separates
How housing will be handled if the couple separates
Expectations regarding inheritance and estate administration
Cohabitation agreements can generally address any of the rights and responsibilities of either party to the agreement. The key limitation is that the contract terms cannot violate public policy.
Can Cohabitation Agreements Address Child Support or Child Custody Matters?
A cohabitation agreement can address child support or child custody matters. Unmarried couples can agree on a division of financial support obligations and parenting time. Still, it’s always possible that these provisions could be challenged in court if they’re against public policy.
Most child support and child custody issues are resolved in family court. The court will determine these issues based on what is in the best interests of the child. However, prior agreements between the parties may be considered if they don’t conflict with the child’s best interests.
How is a Cohabitation Agreement Enforced?
A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding contract. In other words, it can be enforced in court just like an ordinary contract. Two parties can’t lawfully contract for sexual relations under Florida law. That would be a violation of public policy. However, courts do recognize the validity of cohabitation agreements that are properly drafted and based on fair consideration.
However, to make things easier, parties to the agreement should ensure:
Both parties are represented by attorneys who can ensure they understand their legal rights and obligations based on the contract terms
Both parties agree to any contract modifications in writing
If one party ignores the contract terms, the other can ask the courts to enforce the agreement. However, the contract doesn’t establish a marriage. So, the case will be brought in civil court rather than family court.
Do you have questions about cohabitation agreements in Orlando? Call our law firm to schedule a free case review with an Orlando cohabitation agreement attorney today.
Contact an Orlando Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Are you living with someone as an unmarried couple in Orlando, FL? You deserve the peace of mind that a cohabitation agreement can offer. To learn more about the process, call an Orlando cohabitation agreement lawyer at McMichen, Cinami & Demps for a free initial consultation today.