Marriage isn’t for everyone. Many couples live together, buy and sell property together and go about their lives as if they were married. Some couples, after a divorce, decide not to get married again. This is especially true of older couples who have children from prior relationships and an estate plan in place. The laws of Kentucky and Ohio do not give unmarried cohabitating couples any type of legal status. Certainly, cohabitating couples are not provided the statutory protection that married couples enjoy. If you are in a relationship that does not appear to be headed for marriage, but you are sharing household expenses, mortgage payments and even buying items for mutual use and enjoyment, then you may want to consider a cohabitation agreement.
The problem does not exist until the relationship ends. A cohabitation agreement will define your rights and responsibilities with respect to jointly held assets, including bank accounts, real estate purchased in one person’s name, one person paying most of the expenses and in the case where one person is supporting the other through college. Much like a pre-nuptial agreement before marriage, the cohabitation agreement is able to protect both parties and their property.
One could seek remediation though the courts, but not the family courts that are more prepared to address the unique circumstances involved in the destruction of the family unit. Cohabitation agreements will not be enforced in the family courts, but rather they will be interpreted and enforced according to the standard rules of Kentucky and Ohio contract law.
At Graydon Family Law, we can help you effectively negotiate during this time, protect your best interest, and reach an agreement that will allow you the security you both deserve.