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Non-Marital Cohabitation Agreement in Texas: What You Need to Know

In Texas, many couples choose to live together without getting married. While this may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, it can also pose certain legal challenges. For instance, if the couple decides to separate, they may not have the same legal protections as married couples do. That`s where a non-marital cohabitation agreement comes in.

A non-marital cohabitation agreement, also known as a domestic partnership agreement, is a legally binding contract that outlines the rights and responsibilities of unmarried couples who live together. It can cover a range of issues, such as property division, financial support, and custody of children. The purpose of the agreement is to ensure that both parties are on the same page and have a clear understanding of their obligations to each other.

In Texas, non-marital cohabitation agreements are not recognized by state law. However, that doesn`t mean they`re not enforceable. Texas courts have upheld such agreements as long as they meet certain requirements. Here are some things to keep in mind if you`re considering a non-marital cohabitation agreement in Texas:

1. It must be in writing. A verbal agreement is not legally binding, so make sure you put everything in writing.

2. It must be signed by both parties. Both partners must sign the agreement for it to be valid.

3. It must be voluntary. Neither party can be coerced or forced into signing the agreement.

4. It must not violate any laws. The agreement cannot go against any state or federal laws.

5. It must be fair and reasonable. The terms of the agreement should be fair and reasonable to both parties.

Some of the things that can be covered in a non-marital cohabitation agreement in Texas include:

1. Property division: You can specify how property will be divided if you decide to separate. This can include everything from real estate to personal property.

2. Financial support: If one partner relies on the other for financial support, you can outline the terms of that support in the agreement.

3. Debts: You can specify who is responsible for any debts incurred during the relationship.

4. Health insurance: If one partner provides health insurance for both parties, you can specify how it will be handled if you separate.

5. Children: If you have children together, you can outline the terms of custody and visitation in the agreement.

In conclusion, a non-marital cohabitation agreement can be a valuable tool for unmarried couples in Texas. Although it`s not recognized by state law, it can provide a clear set of guidelines for how to handle issues that may arise during the relationship or after a separation. If you`re considering a non-marital cohabitation agreement, it`s best to consult with a qualified attorney who has experience in drafting such agreements.

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