When Do You Need a Cohabitation and Unmarried Couples Lawyer?
You may need a cohabitation and unmarried couples lawyer when you and your partner are planning to live together or already do so but wish to outline your legal and financial responsibilities and rights. This can include creating a cohabitation agreement, which works similarly to a prenuptial agreement, delineating how assets and responsibilities would be divided should the relationship end.
An example of when you might need a cohabitation and unmarried couples attorney is if you and your partner have decided to purchase a house together. This is a significant financial commitment and it’s important to have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what.
A cohabitation agreement can specify, for instance, the proportion of the mortgage each person is responsible for, how property taxes and insurance are divided, and what happens to the property if you split up. The agreement might specify that if you break up, the house will be sold and the proceeds divided according to the contributions each made, or it may state that one partner has the right to buy out the other’s share.
Without such an agreement, disputes can arise that can be difficult to resolve. For instance, if one partner contributed more towards the down payment or mortgage, they might feel entitled to a larger share of the home if you break up. Or, if one partner has been primarily responsible for maintaining or improving the house, they may feel that they are entitled to compensation for their labor. A lawyer can help you think through these issues and draft an agreement that protects both partners’ interests.
Other circumstances include disputes over property, child custody or support, and estate planning. Additionally, if one partner dies without a will, the surviving partner may need legal assistance to protect their rights.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Cohabitation and Unmarried Couples Lawyer in the U.S.?
The cost to hire a cohabitation and unmarried couples lawyer in the U.S. can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your case, the lawyer’s experience, and your geographic location.
Some lawyers charge a flat fee for drafting a cohabitation agreement, which can range from $1,000 to $3,000. If your case involves a dispute and requires litigation, lawyers often charge by the hour, typically ranging from $150 to $500 per hour. Some lawyers may offer a free consultation, but it’s important to clarify this upfront.
What to Look For in a Cohabitation and Unmarried Couples Lawyer?
When looking for a cohabitation and unmarried couples lawyer, consider their experience in family law, specifically with unmarried couples. They should have a good understanding of the legal issues unmarried couples face and a track record of successfully resolving similar cases.
Personal compatibility is also important. You want to feel comfortable discussing personal matters with them and confident in their abilities. Also, consider their communication style and responsiveness. You should be able to easily understand their explanations, and they should be quick in responding to your questions.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Cohabitation and Unmarried Couples Lawyer?
Before your consultation with a cohabitation and unmarried couples lawyer:
- Prepare by gathering all relevant documents, such as financial records, real estate deeds, and any previous legal agreements between you and your partner.
- Write down your questions and concerns so you won’t forget to address them during the meeting.
- Be ready to discuss your goals for the legal process and any specific issues you foresee.
Being well-prepared can help the lawyer better understand your situation and provide more accurate advice.
Where to Find the Best Cohabitation and Unmarried Couples Lawyer in the U.S.?
LegalMatch is a valuable resource for finding the best cohabitation and unmarried couples lawyer in the U.S. We have an extensive database of lawyers who practice family law.
After you provide some basic information about your case, LegalMatch matches you with lawyers who have the right expertise. You can then review the lawyers’ profiles, client reviews, and fees before deciding who to contact. This allows you to find a lawyer who not only has the right skills and experience but also fits your budget and personal preferences.