The number of couples that live together as unmarried partners has been on the rise for several decades, according to the Huffington Post. Yet even when there's no marriage contract in place, there could be certain legal obligations for unmarried partners. This is why it's important for unmarried partners that are living together to consider entering a cohabitation agreement. Such an agreement can state how property is to be divided in the event of a break-up and can define the rights and obligations that each party owes each other.
FindLaw states a cohabitation agreement can also define how expenses are to be handled in a relationship. Some living together contracts will define which partner is to pay for the cost of food and which partner is supposed to pay for the cost of housing and utilities. Some couples that own real estate or have a great deal of assets will contact a Phoenix family law attorney for help writing up a cohabitation agreement that could be upheld in court.
In the California Supreme Court case Marvin v. Marvin, the court ruled that an implied agreement between a couple living together outside wedlock to share income could not be legally enforceable. However, the court also stated that unmarried couples can enter into a written or oral agreement that cover the rights often associated with marriage and that such an agreement can be enforceable in court. Oral agreements can be difficult to prove in court, so it's best to make a cohabitation agreement in writing.