Cohabitation agreement (or domestic partnership agreement)

Konkubinat, ohne Trauschein zusammenleben

Love is blind
Unmarried couples sign leases or invest in real estate, buy furniture and have children. Investing in a Cohabitation Agreement empowers a couple to discuss finances and to clarify the financial expectations from scratch. Discussions now help avoiding contentious disputes later. During a turbulent breakup, couples can face real difficulties when it comes to dividing assets after separation.

There are many reasons to live together without being married. But there are consequences. Mere cohabitation confers almost no legal rights – no next-of-kin hospital visitation or financial rights, no survivors’ benefits, no inheritance rights, no alimony. The law does not regulate cohabitation.

Cohabiation or partnership agreement

You may realize that – among others – a cohabitation agreement is a safety net. It is often sensible for committed partners to define their relationship in a cohabitation or partnership agreement. Create clear rights and responsibilities. Cite specific circumstances.

What needs to be regulated?

Or: A Danger Foreseen Is Half Avoided.

Regulation of living together

What rules govern the partnership? Who pays for what? Is there an economically weaker party?

Are you still married or divorced when you move in together? If so, what are the financial and legal ramifications?

Medical decisions in the event of illness or accident

What happens if your partner becomes ill or injured and is hospitalized? Will you have visitation rights? Can the doctor even inform you about your partner’s condition? Or confer with you about treatment? You have no rights if your agreements are not written down. Consider a living will and do not forget a health care proxy. Make sure your partner does the same.

Estate planning

What happens if your partner dies unexpectedly? If your partner owns the house, will you be thrown out? A mere cohabitant has no legal right to inheritance. Or to even speak at their service. Do you want to ensure the financial security of your life partner? Provide for your loved one now. Draft and execute a will. Your partner should do the same.


What happens if you separate? Without a comprehensive cohabitation agreement, a judge may inject his or herself into what remains unspecified or unclear. The rules of simple partnership may take precedence, including, for example those governing joint acquisition and use of communal property. Also, do you really want to litigate? What about cheaper and less formal ways to resolve differences, such as negotiation and mediation?

The most important thing you can do at this juncture is become informed. I can bring you up to speed, draft crucial documents and review existing ones. Contact me.