Unmarried Couple Agreement Attorneys Morris County, NJ
Serving couples across Chester, Mendham, Chatham, Morristown, and Morris County
For a variety of different reasons, many modern couples are choosing to live together, but remain unmarried. This arrangement may work for them on many different levels, but unfortunately these couples are not afforded many of the rights, protections, or obligations normally associated with a marriage.
However, by crafting what is known as a cohabitation agreement, unmarried couples can afford themselves many of the rights and benefits associated with marriage, and help protect their financial and legal interests, both as a couple and as individuals.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping unmarried couples across Chester, Chatham, Mendham, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area to discuss, draft, modify, and enforce cohabitation agreements pertaining to a variety of different issues many unmarried couples wish to address.
What Can My Cohabitation Agreement Include in Morris County?
Unmarried couples have the option of creating cohabitation agreements which cover a wide variety of issues and scenarios, as well as bestow certain rights normally only afforded to married couples in New Jersey. Some of the rights a cohabitation agreement can grant include:
- Power of attorney to one or both parties
- Advanced health care directive rights
- Determination of health care benefits or life insurance policies
In addition, cohabitation agreements can also cover issues such as property division, financial support, and even visitation or custody rights in the event that the relationship dissolves. However, it is important to remember that all child custody issues are decided in New Jersey on a “best interest basis”, meaning if a court determines that any terms you have included in your cohabitation agreement are not in the best interests of a child, those terms may not be ultimately enforceable. Cohabitation agreements can include terms regarding:
- Distribution of property, assets, and residences
- Financial support, known as palimony
- Child custody and visitation terms for children or minor children of the couple
In order for your cohabitation agreement to accurately reflect and take into account your unique needs and concerns, it is important that you retain the counsel of an experienced Morristown cohabitation agreement attorney. Your attorney can help you through the entire process, and ensure not only that your cohabitation agreement actually grants the rights and responsibilities you want it to, but that it is legal and enforceable.
Is My Cohabitation Agreement Legal and Enforceable?
Of course, any time you go through the effort of creating a cohabitation agreement, you will want to make sure that it is legal and enforceable. There also may be situations where you will wish to call into question the validity of a cohabitation agreement you have signed which is unfair to you.
In order for any cohabitation agreement to be considered valid, and enforceable by law, several important factors will all need to be true:
- You and your partner retained separate legal counsel when drafting your cohabitation agreement, or expressly waived that right to counsel in writing.
- The assets and finances of you and your partner were fully disclosed, and accurate. If your cohabitation agreement covers the division of a residence in case of a dissolution of your relationship, that residence will need to have been accurately valued at the time of the drafting of your cohabitation agreement in order for it to be valid.
- Your cohabitation agreement needs to be fair and equitable to both parties, if a court determines that your agreement is overly one-sided, unfair, or unreasonable, your cohabitation agreement may not be considered valid
- Your cohabitation agreement and the terms it includes will need to have been produced without any coercion, manipulation, compulsion, force, or threat by either party
- Both you and your partner will need to be given adequate time to consider the implications of your agreement before signing it
In order to ensure that your cohabitation agreement is valid, or to contest the validity of an existing cohabitation agreement, it is highly recommended that you retain the counsel of an experienced Morristown cohabitation attorney.
Contact Our Morris County Cohabitation Agreement Attorneys Today
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients across Morristown, Chester, Mendham, Chatham, and the greater Morris County area to draft, modify, and enforce marital agreements of all kinds, including agreements between unmarried couples.
By practicing exclusively family law, our firm is able to provide each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate legal service they need and deserve in any family law matter. We believe in working closely with each of our clients, and that by keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we can better understand their exact needs and concerns, and work to resolve their legal issue in a manner that best takes those needs and concerns into account.
To speak with our firm today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your needs as an unmarried couple, and the creation, modification, or enforcement of a cohabitation agreement, please contact us online, or through our Morristown office at (973) 828-0829.