As people focus more on their careers and personal goals, settling down for marriage may no longer be a priority. Bellevue, for example, has a relatively high population of young professionals who may choose to delay marriage or forgo it altogether. As of 2021, the percentage of unmarried-partner households in Bellevue, WA, was approximately 8.2%, a 2% increase from the year before.
With the increase in the number of non-married couples choosing to live together or co-own assets, legal agreements can be a practical and pragmatic way to protect their assets and avoid costly legal battles.
Importance of legal agreements for non-married couples
In non-marital relationships, it can be more difficult to determine what is separate and shared property. It can be especially challenging for couples with complex assets, such as business interests, real estate holdings, or significant investments.
Co-habitation agreements can help non-married couples avoid misunderstandings and disputes by setting clear expectations and outlining the financial responsibilities of each partner. It can cover various issues, such as property division, debt allocation, spousal support and inheritance rights.
By discussing these issues and creating a legally binding agreement, each party can ensure that their financial affairs are in order and protected in case of separation.
How to create an agreement in Bellevue
The first step in creating this type of agreement is to consult with an attorney. The attorney can guide the couple through the process. Together, they can create an agreement that meets their needs. Then, they will need to identify the assets and debts included in the agreement. It can include bank accounts, investments, real estate, business interests and other assets the couple wants to protect. The agreement should also include how they will handle future assets or debts.
It’s important to note that separate attorneys should represent each partner during the drafting and negotiating. Doing so helps to ensure that the interests of both parties are represented and that the agreement is fair and reasonable.
Once the agreement has been drafted and reviewed by both parties and their respective attorneys, it must be signed and notarized. It is important to keep the agreement in a safe and secure place, such as a safe deposit box, where both partners can easily access it.
While unmarried couples do not have the same legal protections as married couples, a well-drafted cohabitation or domestic partnership agreement can provide a legal framework for dividing their assets and debts in case of a separation or breakup.