Florida Courts have historically and consistently recognized and enforced contracts between couples containing support provisions and asset distribution provisions. In the absence of a marital relationship, there are no statutory defaults for non-married partners. As such, all material terms and considerations of any agreement must be set forth with specificity. Unlike Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements which are generally designed to modify, limit or eliminate statutory rights predicated upon marriage, cohabitation agreements are designed to create legal obligations in the absence of statutory rights.
In regard to acquisition, maintenance and disposition of assets and liabilities, the following should be defined in cohabitation agreements:
- Jointly-titled and acquired property.
- The payment of expenses or liabilities associated with jointly-titled and acquired property.
- The valuation methodology and disposition of jointly titled and acquired property in the event of a termination event.
- The right to, or waiver of, appreciation in separate property predicated upon contractual theories.
- Nature and Use of Income
- Computation and Structure of Support Obligation
- Entitlement/Obligation for Attorney’s Fees
- Provisions for support during relationship/post-relationship
- Methodology for computation of support amount
- Define rights, entitlements and obligations during pendency of enforcement action, if any, including fee provisions for trial and appellate fees.
- Termination/Survival – Define the manner in which the partnership is terminated – notification, delivery, interim terms, etc.
- Define whether disputes under the contract are to be submitted to mediation or arbitration in advance of filing for enforcement in civil court
- Define rights, entitlements and obligations during pendency of enforcement action.
- Define whether the document will survive a subsequent marriage and if so what further formalities must exist and occur to ensure effectuation.
Our firm has handled many cohabitation agreements. For more information, please contact us.