What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

Gold border around a white square that says “what is a cohabitation agreement?" in black letters.More and more long-term, committed romantic partners are choosing not to marry. While there is no common law marriage in Connecticut, and living together (or “cohabitating”) does not trigger any financial rights or obligations, the unmarried couples may enter into a “cohabitation agreement.”

Read on to learn more.

What Does a Cohabitation Agreement Do?

Many committed, long-term couples want to commit to a financial arrangement should they end their relationship.

Read: What Should an Effective Cohabitation Agreement Between Unmarried Couples Contain?

What About Common Law Marriage?

There is a common myth that common law marriage exists in Connecticut.  It does not.  No matter how long people live together, there is no common law marriage in Connecticut.

What that means is, no matter how long a couple is together, they never acquire rights to property division or alimony and spousal support that exist when married people divorce.

Read: Is there Common Law Marriage in Connecticut?

What if an Unmarried Couple Wants a Financial Agreement if They Break-Up?

This is where the cohabitation agreement comes in.  A cohabitation agreement allows unmarried partners to commit to a financial arrangement should they end their relationship.

Does Connecticut Recognize Cohabitation Agreements?

Yes.  Connecticut recognizes the legal validity of these agreements.  Typically, they address rights and obligations pertaining to financial support (akin to alimony or spousal support), or how property will be divided in the event the relationship ends.

Is a Break-Up With a Cohabitation Agreement Treated Like a Divorce?

No.  Although Connecticut recognizes cohabitation agreements, you do not go to divorce court if you end your relationship.  If one partner does not follow the cohabitation agreement, that doesn’t go to family court either.  All disputes are resolved under general principles of contract law.

Read:  Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Why Unmarried Couples Should Have Cohabitation Agreements

Next Steps

Issues facing unmarried couples are complicated.  If you are in a long term relationship and do not plan to marry, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney.

Our first step at Freed Marcroft, the Goals & Planning Conference, is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals for your life. Once we discover your goals at the Goals and Planning Conference, we are able to take our collective experience with family law, strategy, courts, judges, and other lawyers, and build an approach customized for you.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Meghan Freed