Generally, a cohabitation agreement is a contract between two people who live together or are considering living together. If you wish to cohabitate rather than separate or divorce, you could use a cohabitation agreement to define each party’s rights and responsibilities in your living arrangement.

For example, a cohabitation agreement could establish a division of household expenses. One party could be responsible for paying the rent or mortgage on the residence, while the other could be responsible for covering utility costs.

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Child Custody Rights and Cohabitation Agreements

A cohabitation agreement may be especially useful in situations where a couple share custody of their children and want to live in the same residence to make it easier on them. With this kind of arrangement, you would not need to transport your kids between different residences, minimizing the disruption to their lives.

You and the other parent could use a cohabitation agreement to establish childcare responsibilities of each of you. For instance, one parent could be generally responsible for transporting the child to and from school, while the other could be responsible for taking the child to any extracurricular activities.

Additionally, a cohabitation agreement could help you and the other parent divide up your childcare expenses. One parent could financially cover any education expenses, such as books or tuition, while the other parent could be responsible for the child’s healthcare costs. Our Capital Region attorneys can provide further guidance regarding how you could adapt a cohabitation agreement to your specific childcare situation.

Changing or Altering a Cohabitation Agreement

In some instances, one or both parties may wish to change their cohabitation agreement after the fact. Therefore, both individuals would want their agreement to establish a specific way to alter or adjust any terms.

For example, a cohabitation agreement may stipulate that both parties must agree to any change, and that such a change must be in writing. The agreement may also contain ways for both parties to discuss any potential changes and resolve any differences, such as meeting with a lawyer beforehand.

Even if both individuals are not able to agree to a specific change, an ensuing disagreement does not necessarily need to result in further legal proceedings. A cohabitation agreement could mandate certain dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve any disagreements.

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