NonMarital Agreement Attorney Union County, NJ
Serving Partners across Summit, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Linden, and Union County
Many couples often choose to have marital-style relationships, but remain legally unmarried. When those relationships end, either amicably or otherwise, unmarried couples face many of the same issues divorcing couples do such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of assets and debt, but without the legal rights and protects a marriage provides.
However, couples who choose to live together, but remain unmarried, do have the option of creating what is known as a “cohabitation agreement”, sometimes also referred to as a “non-marital agreement”. This agreement can grant many of the same rights and responsibilities a marriage bestows upon its participants. A cohabitation agreement can protect both the individuals entering into it as well as the couple as a unit in many different situations, including dissolution of the relationship, death, or any other situation the couple wishes to address.
At The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, we have extensive experience helping unmarried couples across Summit, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Linden, and the greater Union County area to draft cohabitation agreements which meet the specific needs and concerns of both parties, and which are legally valid and binding. Contact our firm to discuss your needs and concerns regarding your cohabitation agreement in a free and confidential consultation.
What Can I Put in my Cohabitation Agreement in Union County?
You and your partner can address almost any potential concern you may have for your future in your Union County cohabitation agreement. For example, some of the most important legal rights a married couple enjoys which you can address in your cohabitation agreement include:
- Advanced health care directives (unmarried couples do not have the power to receive medical information in the event of an emergency, or make decisions regarding treatment for their partner unless addressed in your cohabitation agreement)
- Power of attorney to one or both parties
- Determination of health care benefits and life insurance benefits
In addition, financial arrangements can be made in your cohabitation agreement in the event of a dissolution of the relationship or death, specifically:
- Division of a shared residence or home
- Distribution of assets such as joint bank accounts, shared credit cards, retirement funds like 401ks, investments, and more
- Financial support from one party to other, commonly known as “palimony”
Finally, the couple can also address issues relating to children of the relationship, or children from a previous relationship such as parenting time and visitation rights, and financial support. However, New Jersey law operates on a “best interest” basis when it comes to anything regarding children, meaning that even if your cohabitation agreement includes these terms for children and minor children, if the court finds that those terms are not in the best interest of those children for any reason, any decision the court makes regarding your children will supersede whatever was outlined in your cohabitation agreement.
Obviously, there are a great many different rights, benefits, scenarios, and issues a cohabitation agreement can address, and it is highly recommended that you speak with our firm before drafting, or signing, such an agreement. We can advise you on the legality of your agreement, whether or not it is accurately addressing your specific concerns, and whether or not it is fair and equitable to you.
Is My Union County Non-Marital Agreement Valid?
When creating a nonmarital agreement, you will most likely want to ensure that it is legally binding, and enforceable. Or, you may have already entered into a cohabitation agreement, and are no concerned over its validity. Either way, in order for any nonmarital agreement to be considered valid, and enforceable by law, several important factors all need to be true:
- You and your partner each retained legal representation before signing the agreement, or explicit waived your right to legal representation during this process in writing.
- The separate finances of you and your partner were fully, and accurately, disclosed. If for example, a partner lied to you, hid from you, or mislead you regarding the value of an asset included in your cohabitation agreement, your cohabitation agreement can be considered by a judge to be invalid.
- Any cohabitation agreement you sign needs to be considered reasonable and fair. If a court finds your cohabitation agreement to be overly one-sided, or unconscionable, the agreement may be dismissed.
- The agreement needs to be produced, and signed, without manipulation, duress, coercion, or threat by either party.
Contact a Union County Cohabitation Agreement Attorney Today
At The Law Office of Edward S. Cooper, we have extensive experience helping unmarried partners to draft, sign, validate, and contest nonmarital agreements of all kinds across Summit, Scotch Plains, Linden, Elizabeth, and the greater Union County area.
Attorney Edward Cooper believes that by listening closely to all of his clients’ unique needs and concerns, and keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, he can achieve the results that best meets those needs and concerns.
To speak with Edward Cooper today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your non-marital agreement, or any issues you may have related to a non-marital agreement, please contact us online, or through our Linden, NJ office at (908) 481-4625.