The agreement to live together should be about more than simply the major decision to live together. That’s probably the easy part. Both parties also need to consider all the issues surrounding living together.
- Who owns what? How will expenses be met? Debt anyone? Is either one supporting the other? Under what conditions and for how long? What happens regarding assets, debts and support if you decide to part company? Are you relying on any explicit or implied promises? These things should all be spelled out clearly in a written cohabitation agreement
- How well do you know your partner? Do they have good credit? Are they spendthrifts? Do they pay to take care of their stuff?
- Is living together just the first step in a more involved and complex merged life plan? Is joint property ownership in your futures? Is a business partnership in your futures? The future may be the best place to leave them until you have tested the “living together waters” adequately.
- Don’t burn bridges or eliminate all your fallback options. Approximately half of marriages end in divorce. The rate for cohabitating relationships is even higher.