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Just Living Together? 4 Documents Every Unmarried Couple Should Have

Law Blog

If you and your partner have decided to live together without being married, there are a few things you should consider. Living together can be great for many couples, but there are some legal documents you need to have to protect the two of you should one of you die or you decide to separate. Here are some documents you should consider:

Have a Will Drawn Up

One of the first things couples who choose not to marry should do is have a will made for the two of them. Wills are a very basic legal document that states who gets what property when one of you passes away. If you or your partner pass away with no will, there is a chance that property that you accumulated together could go to a blood relative of the deceased, no matter if you had a hand in paying for it. Wills are very easy to create, and they can usually be completed in an afternoon.

Sign a Paternity Statement

If you and your partner have a child together, the father needs to ensure that his paternity is established. This provides protection to the mother, baby, and the father from the possibility of a judge denying the father custody should something happen to the mother. This document will ensure the child is allowed to be on the father's insurance policy and is allowed to be the beneficiary of any insurance claims.

Have a "Living Together" Contract

When you are in a committed unmarried relationship, you and your partner likely create a home together. More often than not you have made many major purchases of property, share a mortgage, and even have the other as insurance beneficiaries. In the event that you both decide to separate, dividing those assets could lead to some issues between you, especially if the split was not amicable. This is where a living together contract comes into play. This is a simple contract that states who gets what in the event you decide to dissolve your relationship.

Create a Property Settlement Agreement

A property settlement agreement is needed if you and your partner end your relationship without any prior contracts or agreements. This is the agreement the two of you will come to when it is time to decide who gets the family home, what the buyout costs are, or the details that pertain to the sale of the home. This agreement is simply a written document that reiterates what the two of you have agreed to regarding the separation of your property.

Living together with your partner does not always afford you the same rights of married couples. However, with these agreements in place, you should feel very secure with regard to your property and the care of your children. Be sure to contact an attorney (such as one from Mills & Mills Law Group or another firm) when discussing these agreements to ensure all of the necessary information is included.


12 December 2014