What You Need to Know About Cohabitation Agreements in Illinois
As more and more couples are choosing to live together without getting married and raise families together, cohabitation agreements have risen in popularity in Illinois. Many people believe living together without tying the knot frees them from certain obligations. A cohabitation agreement ensures the individuals involved in the agreement are protected against such assumptions.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is basically a prenuptial agreement without the nuptials. The main difference between it and marriage is the cohabitation agreement defines the terms of the contract, thus allowing the involved parties to dictate the terms of the agreement – as well as their own rules, in case either party terminates the relationship. In contrast, marriage IS a contract, so Illinois’s law of dissolution of marriage can be used to enforce the divorce process, including maintenance and support.
The best cohabitation agreement is one that addresses the concerns and needs of each individual in the relationship. This includes the sharing of expenses, whether it involves children or house expenditures, as well as commingling assets. Additionally, if a couple owns property together, they can also claim tax deductions on it as a couple.
In case either of them has debt or other business interests, those should be mentioned in the agreement as well. It can be drafted before and after the couple decides to live together should address the following issues:
- Coverage for health insurance
- Mutual debt payments
- Property division in case they break up
- Parental responsibilities in case they have children
In other words, the agreement basically allows cohabiting couples to finalize how they are going to comingle their finances and how their assets will be distributed in case their relationship comes to an end. This can come in handy if, during their relationship, they cannot figure out how to settle certain debts or divide property fairly.
This property can be anything from furniture and cars to artwork and pets. However, keep in mind this agreement does not influence parenting time and child support payments. These issues have to be settled in court. In any case, cohabitation terminates maintenance in Illinois unless otherwise agreed by the involved parties.
Illinois also recognizes common law marriage, which refers to couples who are married but have lived apart from one another for an extended period. However, it only does so for couples who moved to the state and their previous state of residence considered their marriage legally binding. If that is the case, they are entitled to the same protection and rights as legally married couples in the state they are currently living in.
Get in Touch with a Family Lawyer Today!
Whether you want to have a legally binding cohabitation agreement drawn up or want to file for divorce, you need dedicated lawyers in your corner. Get in touch with us at the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov in Schaumburg, Illinois, today by calling 847-241-1299 and book a consultation today. We deal exclusively in family law cases and offer a range of services from negotiations to dispute resolution.