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What is a cohabitation agreement?

In the most unromantic of terms, marriage is a legally binding contract between two people. By being married, certain rights and obligations are defined. However, an unmarried couple -- worried about rights and obligations -- can also have a legal contract, often referred to as a cohabitation agreement. This agreement can spell out things such as property division and debt division, in the event of a break up.

With cohabitation agreements, these legal contracts are intended to protect the rights of two people who have entered into a relationship where it is believed assets and debts will be accumulated during the course of the relationship. In most cases, these couples are in a serious, long-term committed relationship and living together. 

In addition, many older couples also put consideration into cohabitation agreements. This way, if one person passes away, their property and other assets are divided up in a way each sees fit.

In talking about creating a cohabitation agreement in Minnesota, there are going to be certain aspects partners may wish to discuss and include in their contract, such as how to divide up inheritance, what to do with property that is acquired or purchased together during the relationship, and what will happen with property that is owned individually prior to the relationship. 

When creating these documents, it is important the agreements make sense and are legally sound. The worst would be for the validity of the agreement to be questioned after a break up. An attorney with experience drafting these agreements can assist with preparing a cohabitation agreement.

Source: FindLaw, "Nonmarital Agreement & Living Together Contracts

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