How is a cohabitation agreement similar to a prenup?

Increasingly these days in Kentucky. more and more couples are living together without getting married. Of course, Kentucky residents ready to walk down the aisle may have created a prenuptial agreement to protect their financial interests should they later divorce. However, is there any similar document available to those who live together without getting married?

A cohabitation agreement, like a prenuptial agreement, is entered into by two individuals who reside together. Couples enter into a cohabitation agreement in order to avoid the expenses and time that would be involved should their relationship not work out and they have to go to court to settle their financial issues.

Like a prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement can assign property rights to one partner or the other by putting into writing who will retain which assets obtained during the relationship if the couple breaks up. It can outline how the couple will mutually support themselves financially while together as a couple or should their relationship end. Moreover, it can dictate how debts will be handled should the relationship not last. It can address child care arrangements and establish guardianship. The cohabitation agreement can also give one partner the right to make medical decisions in an emergency if the other partner is unable to do so on his or her own behalf.

A properly drafted and executed cohabitation agreement is legally binding for both partners, just like a prenuptial agreement is. Like prenups, cohabitation agreements can be useful to couples wherein one partner or the other has either a significant amount of wealth or has a substantial amount of debt. They can also be useful if one partner left his or her job to be a homemaker and take care of the children. Moreover, they can be useful if a partner wants to provide compensation to the other partner for acting as a caregiver.

Cohabitation agreements have much in common with prenuptial agreements. In the end, both types of documents can help couples have an upfront conversation about finances and other important issues, and can help couples have a clean break should their relationship end.