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Today, cohabitation is the fastest growing living arrangement in the United States. With more people choosing not to enter or reenter marriage, cohabitation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is no longer an irregular event. But what happens if that relationship breaks down? There are no benefits provided to that couple under Illinois law and the Illinois statutes do not provide for common law marriage or "palimony." A cohabitation agreement can prevent costly and unnecessary litigation when a couple decides that their relationship is not working. A cohabitation agreement is nothing more than a basic contract, governed by basic contract principles. A cohabitation agreement might divide assets and debts and provide certain terms defining how to wind down the relationship should the relationship break down at some point. This is particularly important if the cohabitating individuals purchase a home together, make other investments together, and otherwise contribute their respective labor and money for the benefit of both of the individuals. The cohabitation agreement may provide for a payment by one to the other in consideration of such contributions but it would not be considered maintenance. A cohabitation agreement can address any issue that might arise during cohabitation or separation, except for issues of custody, maintenance child support, or access to children.
A couple's decision to enter into a cohabitation agreement is a personal one. Depending upon your personal circumstances, a cohabitation agreement may make sense for you and your mate. At The Law Firm of Wendy R. Morgan, our experienced, compassionate and skilled attorneys can help you understand what a cohabitation agreement can and cannot accomplish and create an agreement that works for you.
If you are cohabitating with your mate or considering cohabitation and have questions about a Cohabitation Agreement, contact The Law Firm of Wendy R. Morgan to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys.
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