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Cohabiting couples, whether heterosexual or same-sex couples, do not have the benefits that a marriage certificate gives husbands and wives, but many of them experience similar issues of conflict or potential conflict that married couples do. Individuals and couples should realize that is in their own best interest to protect themselves against a possible end to their relationship by preparing and formalizing domestic partner agreements.

What Is a Domestic Partnership Agreement?

Legally speaking, a domestic partnership agreement is somewhat similar to a business contract. On a personal level, the agreement will serve the same purpose as a prenuptial agreement, but it would be enforceable through civil courts rather than family law courts. A domestic partnership agreement may be formalized by a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple whose assets are commingled in any way.

You and your domestic partner may choose to clarify how assets are handled in the event of a break-up through a legally formalized document such issues as the following:

  • Ownership of shared property (real estate, vehicles, household goods, pets): How would that property be divided in case of a split in the relationship?
  • Upkeep and repairs of real estate: Do mutual contributions to home repairs have an impact on how the asset would be divided in case of a separation?
  • Control of joint bank accounts in the event of a separation
  • Other agreements of importance to a particular couple

Our Experienced Family Law Attorneys Can Advise and Assist You

Can child-related agreements be contained within a domestic partnership agreement if you and your cohabiting partner share in the care and nurturing of children? The answer to this question may be determined by a number of variables in your particular circumstance. Talk to an attorney to get a clearer understanding of how children in the household might be impacted if the domestic partnership should dissolve.

In addition to a domestic partnership agreement, you and your partner may wish to name each other in general durable powers of attorney and in health care power of attorney documents for use in the event of a medical emergency. You may wish to name each other as beneficiaries in wills and trusts. Ask one of our lawyers about these and other issues of importance to you.

Contact Our Firm to Discuss Your Needs

At Lasiter & Jackson, we are committed to obtaining positive results for each of our clients, and we strive to provide qualified case assessment at a reasonable cost.

Contact our law office in Phoenix to discuss your cohabitation, marriage, divorce or family law issues. We represent clients throughout Pinal and Maricopa County. Obligations of marriage are not the same as agreements spoken or formalized in writing by domestic partners. Consult with a lawyer at our well-established Arizona family law firm for a better understanding of what your existing commitment means in practical terms, with or without a written agreement.

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