Cohabitation isn’t alien to our world. If anything, it’s rampant. Not all cohabiting couples are interested in tying the knot. Instead, some people legalize their cohabitation with a domestic partnership agreement.
What does a domestic partnership prenuptial agreement mean? And what are the benefits? We’ll answer these questions and provide a sample agreement to help you draft yours.
Let’s delve deeper.
What Is a Domestic Partnership Agreement?
A Domestic Partnership Agreement is a legally binding contract that formalizes the relationship between two unmarried people.
The document provides them with certain legal protections and rights. Although it has declined since legalizing same-sex marriage, people still opt for a domestic partnership agreement.
This contract emphasizes each partner’s rights, responsibilities, and obligations. Domestic partnership contracts address financial matters like shared property ownership, inheritance laws, taxes, health care decisions, and other important considerations.
It can also cover issues related to child custody and visitation, alimony payments, division of debts, and more.
The agreement may be modified or terminated if both parties agree. However, couples entering such agreements must understand their potential risks and implications before signing.
Although the requirements are location sensitive but generally, the parties shouldn’t be closely related by blood. They must also be 18 and shouldn’t be bound by another similar agreement or marriage.
When Do People Use Domestic Partnership Contracts?
- To have a form of formality with your romantic partner
- When you want the other party to have access to your medical information and be able to consent to your treatment.
- To earn visitation rights in hospitals or jails.
- Ability to legally manage the burial and funeral needs of the other person.
- To share medical benefits with your partner.
The Issues a Domestic Partnership Covers
As expected, the parties in this contract may need to work hand in hand to determine all the terms of their contract.
But a typical agreement should cover the following issues:
Property Right: The parties will explain how they intend to share their properties in case of dissolution. They can decide to retain their properties and leave them untouched.
Debt: Both partners will highlight the debt they had before the contract. The agreement will state if the other party will inherit the debt at the initiation of the contract or not.
Mutual Expenses: How will they manage the expenses in their daily lives? This section covers this detail.
Support Obligations At Termination Or Death: How will the other partner be supported if a party dies or the relationship ends? The contract is similar to support associated with divorce.
Shared Residence: How will domestic duties be allocated in case of cohabitation? This section delineates the rules of cohabitation.
Health and Medical: This part addresses medical consent, visitation rights, and health insurance.
End Of Life Wishes: This section highlights burial services, funeral arrangements, and other details that come with the death of a partner.
Sample Of Domestic Partnership Contract
This Domestic Partnership Agreement (the “Agreement”) made on [DATE].
By and between [FULL NAME OF PARTY 1] (“Party 1”) and [FULL NAME OF PARTY 2] (“Party 2”).
PREAMBLE: The Parties acknowledge they intend to establish a mutual personal relationship as domestic partners. This shall include shared responsibility for each other’s welfare and jointly making important decisions affecting their lives.
I. TERM: The term of this Agreement shall commence on [DATE] and remain in full force until terminated as provided herein.
II. RELATIONSHIP: During the term of this Agreement, the Parties agree to live together in an intimate, exclusive, and committed domestic partnership. Neither Party shall enter into any romantic relationship with any person outside this Agreement during its term. Each Partner must keep the other informed of their whereabouts at all times.
III. SUPPORT AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Each partner shall provide reasonable financial support to the other if requested.
Any requests for support shall be reasonable in light of each party’s financial means and abilities.
In addition, each Partner agrees to make reasonable efforts to maintain good health and not impose undue burdens upon the other Partner.
IV. BENEFITS: Recognizing the joint venture created under this Agreement, the Parties shall share all economic advantages. That includes benefits like but not limited to income, pensions, retirement funds, investments, and insurance proceeds earned during the term of this Agreement.
V. SEPARATION OR DEATH: If either Partner dies or separates from the other, the surviving Partner may seek fair compensation according to applicable law.
Domestic partnership agreements protects yourself and your loved ones from the risks of cohabitating without legally binding responsibilities.
While these agreements may seem unnecessary, they can provide a safety net in case of unexpected changes, such as illness or death.
With a domestic partnership contract, everyone can rest easy – a valuable comfort that no one should overlook.
However, only a well-drafted agreement offers such satisfaction. We hope this article helps you create the most reliable draft.
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