Cohabitation Agreements in Texas
Many couples in modern America are waiting longer to get married, partly due to more individuals choosing to wait and pursue educational or career goals before settling down. According to a Pew Research study, in 2010, the median age of first marriage reached an all-time high: For women, the age was 26.5 years, and 28.7 years for men.
Establishing a legal, contractual agreement can help provide peace of mind for couples in long-term, cohabiting arrangements. In Texas, cohabitation agreements can serve to protect the interests of both parties. A cohabitation agreement is an understanding between two people in a long-term relationship who live in the same residence.
- While not the same as marriage contracts, cohabitation agreements may address:
- How assets, income, property, and financial obligations would be divided in a split
- Decisions regarding life insurance policies
- Decisions regarding wills and trusts
- What, if any, spousal support would be paid in a split
- Who pays the spousal support, amount of such support, & the duration of payments
- Who will be the conservator of each party’s estate
- Who is responsible for medical decisions in an emergency
Are cohabitation agreements recognized in Texas?
The laws in Texas do not officially address cohabitation agreements in the Family Code. There is, however, a recognition of these agreements within the legal community as being as valid and binding as contracts. Cohabitation agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements. They outline ownership of assets, living arrangements, and more. These agreements are legally binding and designed to protect both parties to the agreement.
It is best for both you and your partner to speak with a Dallas family law lawyer regarding your individual case. Our team at Godwin Bowman PC is based in Dallas and represents clients throughout the state of Texas.