Cohabitation agreement lawyer in Central Texas
Unmarried couples who live together do not have the same automatically imposed contract as married couples. Most of the time, the couple wants to remain unmarried because they want to avoid marriage obligations. But without an explicit agreement, that couple may experience an even messier breakup than a married couple. A legal agreement called a “cohabitation agreement” can solve those problems by enforcing a contract. The family law attorneys at Dunnam & Dunnam represent individuals who need cohabitation agreements. Contact our firm at 254-753-6437 to talk about your matter.
Since 1925, our law firm has represented Central Texas families for their most personal matters. In that time, we have seen it all. We have the experience, skill, and results to get the job done right.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
If you’re one of the millions of couples who have chosen to live together without getting married, a cohabitation agreement may help you avoid financial and emotional turmoil. This is especially true in relationships where one of the partners has a significantly higher net worth or annual earnings than the other. Cohabitation agreements can protect unmarried couples who also want to safeguard assets, avoid contentious, costly litigation, and clarify other wishes should they decide to split up.
Avoid Common Law Marriage through a Cohabitation Agreement
Without a written agreement, couples who live together in Texas could risk that their relationship constitutes a common-law marriage. Should the couple decide to part ways, and a judge rules that they are married to one another, the wealthy party could lose a fortune.
Simultaneously, the other party may be held responsible for certain debts and liabilities about their wealthy partner’s business dealings. A cohabitation agreement that has been entered into voluntarily (by both sides) can help couples avoid the common law marriage argument if the parties agree in writing that they are not married.
What is common law marriage?
- There is an agreement between the two parties that they are married.
- The couple lives together as husband and wife.
- The couple has presented themselves to other people as husband and wife.
Without a written agreement that refutes common law marriage, any property and earnings acquired during the relationship may be subject to division by a court.
Along with contradicting a common-law marriage, a cohabitation agreement might also include:
- A “signing bonus” at the outset of the deal.
- Monthly spending budget for miscellaneous expenses.
- Shopping budget.
- Guaranteed date nights.
- Requirements are about wills, trusts, life insurance, etc.
- Clarification of financial arrangements (who pays what and when) and more.
In most cases, both parties should come to the table with their attorneys. This is the best way to ensure that individual needs and wishes are met and that the agreement is ruled as fair to both parties, and thus more likely to hold up in court.
Cohabitation Agreements in Texas
If you are unmarried and living together, or the partner of a wealthy individual, it’s worth your time to discuss the ins and outs of cohabitation agreements with an experienced family law attorney. He or she can explain how cohabitation agreements work, and the steps necessary to help ensure the contract is enforceable in Texas.
The attorneys at Dunnam & Dunnam routinely represent individuals in cohabitation agreements. To discuss your cohabitation matter with an experienced Central Texas attorney, including our board-certified family law attorneys, contact us at 254-753-6437.
What do clients say about Dunnam & Dunnam’s family law practice?
You can read what our family law clients have to say about us on our family law page. Wacoan Magazine routinely chooses our law firm as the Best in Waco. And the readers also select us as the best family lawyers. We have three board-certified family law attorneys.
Hire a Board Certified Family Law Attorney
Board-certified lawyers must have significant experience before even taking a specialized test to show their expertise in the practice area. Only 900 of the more than 100,000 Texas attorneys are board-certified in Family Law. Three of those attorneys are at Dunnam & Dunnam. These lawyers engage and have been certified as specialists by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the practice of Family Law.
Vance has 60 years of experience as a lawyer in Waco, Texas handling all types of cases in both the office and the courtroom.Read More
Merrilee L. Harmon
Merrilee L. Harmon is a Family Law specialist, Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1985.Read More
Jim Dunnam is a Board Certified Specialist in both Civil Trial Law and Family Law.Read More
Hire a Top Family Law Attorney in Waco
Our Waco family lawyers are experienced in cohabitation agreements for people living together. Contact one of our family lawyers about your situation.
Carolina G. Truesdale graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law, Cum Laude.Read More
Eleeza's practice areas include: Personal Injury Law, Civil Trial Law, Commercial Law, Family Law and Pharmaceutical Law.Read More
Gerald R. Villarrial
Gerald R. Villarrial has practiced family law, criminal law and civil litigation for over 20 years.Read More
Mason Dunnam is the fourth generation of Dunnam attorneys at the firm since 1925Read More