Cohabitation Agreement Victoria: Protecting Your Interests
Living together without being married is becoming increasingly common across the globe. In Victoria, Australia, more and more couples are choosing to cohabit before getting married or even without any intention of ever tying the knot. However, cohabitation can lead to legal issues when the relationship breaks down. This is where a cohabitation agreement comes into the picture.
What is a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement, also known as a domestic partnership agreement or a living together agreement, is a legal document that outlines the rights and obligations of unmarried couples who live together in a de facto relationship. This agreement allows couples to set out the terms of their cohabitation, such as property ownership, finances, and child custody in the event of separation.
Why is a Cohabitation Agreement Important?
In Victoria, de facto couples have similar legal rights and responsibilities as married couples. However, unlike married couples, de facto couples do not have a legal framework that determines how their assets are divided in the event of separation. Therefore, a cohabitation agreement can provide clarity and certainty to the couple about their property rights and obligations.
Additionally, a cohabitation agreement can help avoid conflicts and disputes in the future by setting out the terms that both parties agree to in advance. This can help prevent lengthy and costly legal battles should the relationship break down.
What Should Be Included in a Cohabitation Agreement?
A cohabitation agreement can cover a wide range of topics, including property ownership, living expenses, and the division of assets in the event of separation. The following are some of the key areas that should be addressed in a cohabitation agreement:
Property: This section should detail how property, including real estate, bank accounts, and personal belongings, is owned and how it will be divided in the event of separation.
Expenses: This section should outline how living expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries, will be paid and who is responsible for paying them.
Children: This section should include provisions for child custody, visitation, and child support in the event of separation.
Dispute resolution: This section should describe how any disputes between the parties will be resolved, whether through mediation, arbitration, or the courts.
A cohabitation agreement is a crucial legal tool for unmarried couples who choose to live together in Victoria. It allows them to formalize their relationship, protect their interests, and avoid conflicts in the event of separation. If you are a de facto couple considering cohabitation, speak to a lawyer experienced in family law to draft a cohabitation agreement that suits your needs and protects your rights.