Texas Cohabitation Agreement Attorney
Are you feeling unsure about how to create a cohabitation agreement in Texas? It’s normal to have questions and concerns, but leaving them unanswered can leave you vulnerable and unprotected. Living together may be convenient, but it’s important not to overlook the legal aspects and potential problems that can arise without a proper agreement. That’s why you need the assistance of a skilled Pearland family law attorney like Scott M. Brown & Associates to help you navigate this process.
With years of experience and deep knowledge of cohabitation agreement laws in Texas, the lawyers at Scott M. Brown & Associates are experts in this field. Whether you need to understand your rights, safeguard your interests, or simply want advice on how to move forward, you can rely on our Texas family lawyers to be your trusted guide.
So don’t wait any longer. Contact us today and let us resolve any issues in your cohabitation agreement in Texas.
What is a common law marriage in Texas?
Under the Texas Family Code Section 2.401, cohabitation or common law marriages are legally recognized concepts that allow couples sharing a living arrangement to be considered as lawfully wedded under the law. These marriages hold equivalent legal standing as those formalized by a judge or a clergy member.
A common law marriage can be claimed if the below factors are met:
- There is a mutual agreement between you and your partner to be married.
- You both reside together in Texas as a couple.
- You both indirectly or directly portray to others that you are a married couple (such as adopting a spouse’s surname).
There are various actions that could establish a condition of common law marriage, such as:
- Submitting a joint tax return,
- Buying a property in both names as a married couple,
- Introducing your partner as “spouse,” or
- Being referred to by family members as a relative through marriage.
No specific time frame is required for a couple to be considered in a common law marriage. As long as the couple meets these three requirements, they are recognized as being in a common law marriage.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
For couples who have been cohabiting for a significant time, drawing up a cohabitation agreement is a sensible decision. This agreement permits two people living together to avail some of the same privileges that a legally married couple has.
What does a cohabitation agreement cover?
Cohabitation agreements cover various financial aspects of the couple living together, including:
- Mortgage Payments: With a cohabitation agreement, a couple can clearly define their roles in mortgage payments. The agreement can detail what proportion each partner would contribute and what happens in case of a breakup. This planning helps prevent disputes later on.
- Utility Bills: Household expenses, such as utility bills, can be a source of conflict for many couples. A cohabitation agreement can eliminate such issues by setting out who is responsible for paying which bills or what the sharing ratio will be.
- Lease Contracts: For a cohabiting couple, lease agreements can be a point of discord. The cohabitation agreement can outline the roles and responsibilities of each partner regarding the lease. It can include the distribution of rent and responsibilities in case one partner chooses to move out.
- Child Support Payments: If the couple has children, a cohabitation agreement can detail the financial responsibilities of each parent concerning child support. This helps in preventing financial uncertainties in case the couple decides to part ways.
Much like a prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement allows a couple to define their property rights in writing. This ensures that in case of a relationship severance, each person can retain their respective possessions.
Unmarried couples may not have the same rights as married couples, but you can create agreements to protect certain rights and benefits, similar to those available to legally married couples.
What Rights Do Unmarried Couples Have?
The short answer is no.
Laws regarding property and family rules were mainly created to protect the rights of married couples, so they don’t apply to unmarried couples. This is particularly evident when it comes to property acquired during the relationship, regardless of how long it lasted.
What is palimony?
The informal term “palimony” is a commonly used term that refers to how property is divided or ongoing support payments are made by one partner to the other after they separate.
While the term is used synonymously with alimony, the Texas Family Code does not recognize “palimony.” So if you live with someone without being legally married, Texas laws won’t recognize you as having the same rights divorced couples should you and your partner separate.
Can an unmarried couple get the same rights as married couples?
Unmarried couples have a legal way to establish their rights as a couple. You can create an agreement that provides certain provisions similar to those available in a legal marriage.
According to the Texas Family Code Section 1.08, a promise or agreement based on marriage or nonmarital conjugal cohabitation is not enforceable unless it is written down, and signed by the obligated party.
Additionally, the Texas Business Code allows individuals to make agreements regarding nonmarital conjugal cohabitation. These agreements must also be written and signed by all parties involved.
The Texas legislature created this provision to limit the number of palimony cases in family courts. The reason these agreements must be in writing is because verbal agreements are unlikely to be deemed enforceable by the Texas family court.
Do I need a cohabitation agreement in Texas?
Unmarried couples planning to live together, either by buying a new home or moving into an existing one, can benefit greatly from a cohabitation agreement. Some of these advantages include:
- Clarity in Financial Contributions: The cohabitation agreement details each partner’s expected financial contributions, including rent/mortgage payments and everyday living expenses.
- Legitimacy in Courts: Cohabitation agreements are generally recognized and enforced by courts, although individual circumstances can impact the court’s decision.
- Predefined Asset Distribution: The agreement outlines how assets will be divided in the event of a potential separation, ensuring a smoother transition if a breakup occurs.
- Protection Against Relationship Breakdown: Cohabitation agreements provide a sense of security in case the relationship doesn’t work out.
- Promotes Open Discussions: Creating a cohabitation agreement encourages couples to openly and objectively discuss their intentions before moving in together.
- Savings on Costs: Cohabitation agreements offer the potential to save significant money by avoiding the complexity, hostility, and high legal costs associated with lengthy court battles during breakups.
Why Do I Need a Family Attorney in Dallas, TX?
If you find yourself navigating the complex terrain of family law issues such as cohabitation agreements, having a reliable and proficient legal ally by your side is crucial.
At Scott M. Brown & Associates, you will find seasoned and commiserating professionals ready to offer legal guidance and support, striving to secure the most favorable results for you and your family.
- Extensive Knowledge: With our deep understanding of Texas family law, we can provide comprehensive guidance on cohabitation agreements, including their benefits, potential drawbacks, and how they can be customized to your specific situation.
- Personalized Attention: We recognize that each case is unique, and we take the time to fully understand your individual needs and circumstances. This allows us to create a tailored legal strategy specifically for you.
- Legal Advocacy: If you need to enforce your agreement in court or face a legal dispute, our Texas legal team is prepared to fight for your rights and pursue the best possible outcome.
- Wide Range of Services: In addition to cohabitation agreements, we offer a broad range of family law services, such as divorce, child custody, and property division. This ensures that you have reliable legal support, no matter what your situation may be.
Call our Texas Family Attorney Now!
Don’t hesitate to secure the legal support you need. Reach out to us at Scott M. Brown & Associates today and let’s embark on the journey to protect your interests and those of your loved ones. We are just a phone call away, ready to offer the assistance you need. Remember, securing the right legal guidance today can make a significant difference tomorrow.
Besides cohabitation agreements and other family law matters, Scott M. Brown & Associates also provides legal services in the following areas:
- Criminal Defense: We provide criminal defense services to those accused of a crime in Texas. Our goal is to protect your rights and strive for the most favorable outcome.
- Family Law: We offer comprehensive assistance with various family law issues, including divorce, child custody, and property division. Our dedication to understanding and meeting your unique needs sets us apart.
- Personal Injury: If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence, we can help. We’ll work towards securing the compensation you deserve to help in your recovery.