Uncoupling After Cohabitation

1-1024x1024Uncoupling After Cohabitation

Many couples make the decision to live together. Whether they plan to marry in the future or simply want to enjoy a relationship without the commitment of marriage, living together is a common occurrence. While living together can be joyful, it can make parting ways more difficult. Unlike married couples who divorce, the law does not have a specific process in place for those who live together. In fact, cohabitation is illegal in North Carolina, although it is not something that is prosecuted. Therefore, couples need to understand how to divide their assets and property if they decide to end their relationship.


Property Division

Everyone comes into a relationship with property and assets they already own. These assets are generally considered theirs alone and they are entitled to keep them when partners go their separate ways. If you have a joint bank account, property division can be tricky. It can also be challenging to try to sort out who paid for which bills and who owes for what after you separate. If you disagree as to how to separate your property, you may need help to resolve the matter. Once you agree on the division of assets, make sure you put it in writing so it will not be disputed later.


Managing Member Matt Arnold explains how to go through the process of uncoupling after cohabitation in a divorce. Watch the video to learn more.


Joint Property

Couples often buy things together when they cohabitate. North Carolina does not recognize common law marriage, so even couples who have been together for a long period of time are not covered by divorce laws. It is essential that you make and keep records of anything that you purchase jointly. You will need to note the total price paid as well as how much each party paid for an item. You will also need to keep records of payments made, which may happen if you buy something with a credit card. You and your partner will need to come to a mutual agreement as to how to divide your property.


When You Own a Home Together

Sometimes, a couple may purchase a home together prior to getting married. If they do not get married, and later part ways, the house can create a challenging situation. When both parties are on the mortgage and/or deed, they must both agree to sell the property before putting it on the market. If one party wishes to buy out the other, the transaction is subject to taxes. The courts will not make an order to sell the home as they may do in some divorce cases. If you are considering buying a home with your partner, it is wise to consult with an attorney first.


Cohabitation Agreement

A cohabitation agreement is a contract between parties who live together without being married to one another. It details the rights and responsibilities of each party, including what happens to property if the parties stop cohabitating. The contract can be as specific as you want and provides a good way to resolve matters in the event that you no longer choose to live together. An experienced family law attorney will help you create a cohabitation agreement that best suits your needs.


At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we offer comprehensive family legal services. Call Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your needs today.






The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.







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