Learn more about cohabitation agreements
If you decide to move in with someone, you might want to create a cohabitation agreement to formalize each party’s rights and responsibilities. A cohabitation agreement can be used for couples moving in together, or for parties choosing to live together without being in a relationship.Other names
Some people might call this document a:
Who should use this form?
- Cohabitation contract
- Living together agreement
- Nonmarital contract
- Living-together contract
Use this form if you plan to live with someone. You might have already agreed to specific responsibilities and financial obligations, but if you formalize those decisions in writing you may be less likely to have misunderstandings later.
You can use the “unregistered domestic partnership” version of this agreement or a similar document if you're moving in with a domestic partner.What to include in a cohabitation agreement
Each agreement will be unique, depending upon what you want to cover. For instance, you might split all expenses down the middle, or choose to split bills unevenly based on income. Your agreement should also include a provision addressing each party’s responsibility for any debt.
You can also use your cohabitation agreement to designate certain property as separate property. Your agreement can list the types of property you wish to keep separate, and specify that each person’s property will remain separate property if you stop living together.
Additionally, you can make a provision for splitting up property you acquire after you begin living together. If you buy a car, adopt a pet, or rent furniture, who gets what if someone moves out?
Finally, decide how you will handle any disputes that arise if you stop living together. For instance, you can agree to seek counseling or attend mediation to resolve those disagreements.Next steps
You don't have to file your agreement with a government agency, but it’s helpful for each person to have the agreement reviewed by a lawyer before signing.
Both parties must sign the agreement to make it legally valid. Each person should keep a separate copy in a safe place. If you part ways, use the agreement as a guide to dissolving your arrangement.
Remember, you can mutually agree to update your cohabitation agreement if circumstances change throughout your relationship.