ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE?
Love is in the air. You have decided to move-in together. Be sure to set forth your expectations about living together in writing to avoid confusion.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MY QUALIFICATIONS
After earning a BA in psychology (1998) and a JD in law (2001), I took and passed the Washington State Bar Examination. In 2002, I established a family law practice in Seattle, Washington. As a family law attorney, I provided affordable legal services to a diverse community while also performing all administrative law firm duties. Interviewing and counseling clients in addition to managing ongoing cases was a major component of my law practice. Later, I began working with the Washington State Division of Child Support Enforcement. (Please note, however, that this article is for informational purposes only and nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice.)
SAMPLE COHABITATION AGREEMENT
The following is a sample cohabitation agreement for you and your sweetie to peruse to get ideas of what types of issues may arise once your coats are sharing the same closet.
THIS AGREEMENT, is made by and between [names of people] (hereafter referred to by name or as “parties”).
WHEREAS, the parties live together at [home address], commencing on [date began living together];
and, WHEREAS, they desire to affix their respective rights and liabilities that may result from this joint residency;
and, WHEREAS, the parties desire to keep all real and personal property acquired heretofore by each of them separate;
and, WHEREAS, they each have had an opportunity to consult with separate counsel of their own choice if they so desired;
NOW, THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
1. That each party waives any claim to maintenance, alimony, or ‘palimony’ or other claim for support resulting from said joint residency.
2. That when they reside together, by such action in no way are they to be considered to be in a meretricious relationship, or as married by the common law, or otherwise shall they occupy the status of being married.
3. All property affixed on Schedule A, including any profits, dividends or interest income inuring from said property, shall remain the sole property of [person A].
4. All property affixed on Schedule B, including any profits, dividends or interest income inuring from said property, shall remain the sole property of [person B].
5. Each party shall maintain separate banking accounts, and neither party shall have the right to the proceeds of or access to the same.
6. Each party will continue to use his or her own separate debit and credit cards, and neither party will be liable to third parties or responsible for making payment for any purchases or debts incurred by the other party.
7. That should they purchase assets in joint names, such assets shall be considered as held in tenancy in common. Each party shall contribute from their own resources and income one-half of the upkeep, taxes, and other fees or charges on such property. In the event that one party shall fail to pay as agreed, and the other party contributes in excess of one-half, this excess contribution shall be chargeable to the proceeds if any upon resale of the property, and such excess contribution shall bear interest at the legal rate of interest then in effect.
8. The parties hereto waive any claim against the estate of the other party, save and except:
Any promissory notes executed by one party to the other;
Any excess contribution to jointly acquired assets;
Any judgment entered against one party in the favor of the other;
provided however, that should either party voluntarily and freely make a devise or other bequest to the other in their will, the recipient shall be entitled to the same.
This relationship was neither created by nor premised upon the promise of a devise or bequest from their estate.
9. Other than debts validly contracted for services or materials or otherwise related to joint property of the parties, if any, neither party shall have the right to obligate, act for, contract for or represent the other party.
10. Other than property purchased in the parties’ joint names, each party waives any claim to assets acquired by the other party before, during or after this period of co-habitation. Such property includes but is not limited to business ownership or any interest in a business or business assets.
11. The parties shall apportion the necessary and jointly agreed living expenses as follows:
The parties shall each contribute 50% of the necessary and jointly agreed living expenses. While living together at 6000 24th Avenue NW, Apt. 103, Seattle, Washington 98107, commencing on November 1, 2002, the specific necessary and jointly agreed living expenses apply as listed on Schedule C.
In addition, both parties’ names shall appear on all leases for property on which both parties reside together.
12. This Agreement supersedes and replaces all prior agreements and understandings, whether oral or in writing, and may only be modified in a separate writing signed by both parties. This Agreement is in force when signed below.
13. No relaxation of the terms of this agreement or indulgence which one party may grant the other, will in any way operate as an estoppel against the former party, or be deemed to be a waiver of his or her rights or in any way limit, alter or prejudice those rights.
14. In the event that any one or more of the provisions contained in this Agreement shall for any reason be held to be illegal or unenforceable in any respect under the law of any state by a court of competent jurisdiction, such unenforceability shall not affect any other provision of this Agreement, and the remainder of the contract shall still be upheld.
[Person A typed name and signature] _________________
[Person B typed name and signature]_________________
State of ______________
County of ____________
On _____________, 200___ before me came [person A] and [person B], known to me to be the individuals described hereinabove and who executed the foregoing Cohabitation Agreement, and duly acknowledged to me that they executed the same.
All of [person A’s] separate property, including but not limited to the following list, shall remain [person A’s] separate property, including any profits, dividends or interest income inuring from said property.
-Extensive Record Collection
-Music Compact Discs
-X-Box Game System and Games
-Linens (specifically, black/patchwork quilt, basic comforter)
-Misc. Personal Artwork
-Security Deposit held by [previous landlord] or its affiliates
All of [person B’s] separate property, including but not limited to the following list, shall remain [person B’s] separate property, including any profits, dividends or interest income inuring from said property.
-Queen size bed (including bed frame, box spring and mattress, headboard constructed of wood, iron, and glass)
-Dresser with attached mirror (matches headboard of bed)
-Compaq computer system
-HP Officejet combination Fax/Scanner/Printer
-Fujifilm Digital Camera
-Music Compact Discs
-Sharp Portable Stereo/CD-Player/Tape-Player
-Hoover Vacuum Cleaner
-Ironing Board with Cover and Iron
-All China, Stemware, Cookware, and Cooking/Eating Utensils of Any Type
-Automatic Can Opener
-Five patterned Ornamental Rugs
-Sanyo 27″ Television
-White Painted Chest of Drawers
-Off-white Painted Computer Desk
-White Painted Antique Sewing Table
-Bedside Round Table with White Linens
-White Painted Bookshelf Unit
-Wrought Iron Garden Bench
-White Painted Dining Room Table
-Two White Painted Dining Room Chairs
-All Black Wrought Iron Decorative Accents
-At least Four Lamps (one IKEA desk lamp, a matching floor and desk lamp, and another desk lamp)
-Linens (including, but not limited to, white curtains, white shower curtain, white and off-white bath linens, bed linens, green and earth toned bed comforter set, etc)
-Security Deposit held by [previous landlord] or its affiliates
-Silver-plated Silverware set and Silver Platter
While living together at [home address], commencing on [date began living together], the specific necessary and jointly agreed living expenses are as follows:
Basic home telephone service with voice mail. Each party shall be solely responsible for all telephone related expenses incurred individually by said party, including all long distance fees incurred by said party.
Neither party may cancel the home telephone service without express written consent of the other party except as a result of excessive telephone fees (exceeding $[dollar amount] per month) only if the party who incurred said excessive fees has refused to pay his or her portion by the telephone billing statement due date. If a party cancels the telephone service in violation of this agreement, the party who cancels the service owes the other party $[dollar amount] in liquidated damages, or the actual amount of resulting damages, whichever is greater.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice.