Westchester Unmarried Couples Lawyer
Today, more couples are deciding not to marry before engaging in a serious, long-term relationship or starting families. In fact, in 2011 the United States Census Bureau estimated that there were 7.6 million unmarried couples cohabiting. This number does not include same-sex couples, so the true figure is even larger.
If you are in a serious relationship but do not plan to marry, it may be wise to contact a Westchester unmarried couples lawyer. An experienced family attorney can help you understand your rights and options as an unmarried couple.
Issues Unmarried Couples in Westchester May Face
Couples who are not legally married can face a range of challenges. These include property issues such as buying a house, child custody issues or qualifying as a family member for your partner’s insurance benefits. A Westchester unmarried couples lawyer can help you find solutions to all these issues.
For instance, it may be necessary to enlist the aid of an attorney when drafting written agreements for the property the couple owns together. In a marriage, property held between the spouses is subject to division in an equitable and just manner. This is a way to be fair to each spouse in the event of a divorce. However, such a division is not always as straightforward for unmarried couples. Having a written and signed agreement detailing the ownership of property can make life easier for both parties if you end your relationship.
In New York, unmarried couples can enter into cohabitation agreements to avoid such legal battles. Since New York does not recognize so-called common law marriages, the length of cohabitation does not matter, the couple still will be considered unmarried for legal purposes.
To avoid problems if the relationship dissolves, many couples choose to write cohabitation agreements. Similar to prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements stipulate the terms of the relationship as well as what may happen if the relationship ends. Thus, a cohabitation agreement is a way for unmarried couples to enjoy some of the clarity and benefits of marriage without being legally married.
Couples enter into cohabitation agreements when marriage is not right for them but they still want peace of mind on certain issues. The agreement may cover property division, child custody, visitation rights, and the handling of assets should the relationship dissolve. This may be helpful since courts in New York do not award spousal maintenance for unmarried couples.
Talking to a Westchester Attorney About Options for Unmarried Couples
If you are in a relationship and wish to protect your rights and interests without getting married, contact a lawyer who can help set you on the right path. Our attorneys can help unmarried couples in Westchester draft a cohabitation agreement that sets forth responsibilities and benefits and provides you with a blueprint for an amicable parting should the relationship end.
All couples want clarity and peace of mind and contacting a Westchester unmarried couples lawyer as soon as possible is a way to help achieve that goal. A well-versed attorney will know the issues unmarried couples are facing help create a plan to overcome those obstacles.