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Domestic Partnership Agreement

Let’s be realistic here: we no longer live in the 1920’s, and a couple does not necessarily have to get married to be seen that they are in a steady relationship. A domestic partnership agreement, or cohabitation agreement, is basically a pre-nuptial agreement for people who are not yet/will no marry but are in a de facto relationship. It is designed to deal with the issue of the division of property in the event of a relationship breakdown.

These cohabitation agreements are not just for the rich and famous. Anyone can enter into one of these agreements, as long as you are willing to fulfil the requirements to protect your interests.

You may have considerably more assets than your partner, or you may both have significant assets of your own that you wish to pass on to children from previous partnerships or marriage, or simply keep these assets within your family. You may also be concerned, however deep your relationship, about the debts of the other party, and wish eliminate yourself from these if a breakdown occurs.

By entering into one of these agreements, you are reducing the turmoil of the event of a relationship breakdown and the confusion that comes along with the dividing of assets.

These agreements have the flexibility that allows you to enter one at any stage; before, during or after. Whenever you and your partner live together, or plan on living together, or any time before you separate, you can enter into a cohabitation agreement and these agreements are available for use by anyone that wants to enter them.

Owing to the complexity of these agreements, you need to make them as clear, concise and as easy to understand as possible. This means you need to put it in writing. This agreement will need to cover all contingencies and potentialities, because who knows what is going to happen? The agreement needs to cover what will happen to gifts, living expenses, death of either party and many, many other situations.

The assets of either party need to be disclosed completely within the agreement. This includes cash, real estate, and shares. But each party also needs to include their debts or any obligations they have. Essentially, each person needs to disclose their financial status, including all assets and debts. Once each party determines what they own or owe, they can determine who gets what in the event of a separation.

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