For a lot of people, marriage is a non-starter under any circumstances. However, just because you may not want to get married doesn’t mean you won’t be in a long-term, committed relationship. However, a relationship similar to a marriage in many ways, including co-owned assets and cohabitation, does not receive the same level of recognition and legal protection as married couples. This is due, in part, to California not recognizing common law marriage.

When is a cohabitation agreement right for you?

There is a certain level of security that comes with marriage, rights to access during times of sickness, automatic beneficiary benefits on death, that you cannot quite get in other relationships. For a loving, caring partnership, however, it may be important for you to have that security.
Another key need is the settle rules about how you and your partner live together. Building a family – even without a marriage – is an exercise in organization and obligation. Codifying in secure language how you and your partner will work together for the family you’re making makes things easier.

What happens if my relationship ends and I have a cohabitation agreement?

Often, a cohabitation agreement would have significant thought regarding the possible end of the relationship. It may spell out asset division, how to take care of any children, who gets to live where and so forth.
However, you must also consider what would happen if your relationship ended without an agreement. For those who have ended a cohabitating relationship, settling the necessary parts of the relationship falls to the people involved. These are individuals in a highly emotional state, determining the best way forward. And if there are children involved, you may end up dealing with a child custody dispute anyway.

A cohabitation agreement can decrease your stress

It’s natural to feel stressed about the prospect of marriage. It’s common not to want to get married. However, not saying vows does not mean you won’t have obligations. A cohabitation can manage those obligations and decrease the stress of uncertainty. When you work with an experienced attorney, you can learn more about your rights to cohabitation in California and prepare for any twists and turns that happen with your relationship.