Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Cohabitation Agreements Can Help Unmarried Couples

Cohabitation agreements are useful for couples who decide to spend their lives together, but do not wish to get married. These agreements perform the same functions as prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, which are not available for couples who are not married. Cohabitation agreements can also be useful for same sex couples in Texas, since the state does not recognize same sex unions or marriages (several cases are currently pending before the Texas Supreme Court as to whether Texas will grant same sex divorces for marriages in other states). Couples who are considering a cohabitation agreement should consult with a Houston divorce attorney, though, as the agreement requires careful crafting in order for a court to uphold it down the line.

Cohabitation agreements are flexible, so couples can create an agreement well suited to their own situation. Some of the important areas that cohabitation agreements can cover include:

  • Providing for the remaining partner in the event that one of them passes away while they are still together
  • Whether an unmarried heterosexual couple wants to be considered as common law married, which can happen whether the parties intend it or not
  • Transforming the cohabitation agreement or parts of it into a prenuptial agreement if the couple ever formally marries
  • What property belongs to each partner (this is particularly useful for determining who gets income or assets that grow like the profits of a small business, for example)
  • Spelling out who is responsible for what debt
  • Detailing how the couple would like to handle child custody
  • Dividing property like a principal residence that may be difficult to divide if the couple waits until they are splitting up

The more attention and detail that a couple puts into their cohabitation agreement, the more likely it is that a judge will uphold the agreement, as courts generally look more favorably on contracts that are precise regarding duties and obligations. Have you used a cohabitation agreement? What areas were important for you to include in your agreement?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce lawyer

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