If you are living with your romantic partner but you are not married, you may want to sign legal papers so that your rights are protected. The right legal paperwork will not only help you feel protected as a couple, but it will also ensure that your individual rights are protected if you do separate.

It is important that you draft a non-marital agreement, which is often referred to as a “living together contract,” before you buy a property with your significant other. It is essential that it is written with all the appropriate clauses in place to suit your situation and that it is valid and enforceable.

How do I know if the cohabitation agreement is valid?

Many people who were in a relationship try to argue that they had an oral agreement regarding how the property would be divided in the event of separation. Due to a lack of proof, these claims often cannot be enforced. Like other contracts, a cohabitation agreement should be signed by both parties, with clear instructions on how the property should be divided.

What happens if I marry the person that I share a cohabitation agreement with?

If you marry your partner, this means that the cohabitation agreement that you had in place will no longer be in effect. If you want to have control over how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce, you should consider drafting a prenuptial agreement.

If you are buying a property with your partner in New York and you want to protect yourself, it is important that you take the time to protect your investment.