A couple does not have to be in a legal marriage to want to spell out certain rights and responsibilities should things fall apart, and the lack of a marriage certificate does not necessarily mean that things will be simpler or less painful should an unmarried couple separate. A cohabitation agreement, unromantic as it may be, can settle some issues in advance, although such agreements are not subject to the same formal framework that applies to marital agreements. That is all the more reason to follow many of the same guidelines that govern marital agreements, especially with respect to fairness and disclosure.
To be effective, a cohabitation agreement requires counsel with a solid understanding of California law and superior legal drafting skills. For further information, please contact Seeley Family Law Practice.