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Is there a prenuptial agreement for unmarried couples?

For many Colorado couples, the urge to wed is simply not an issue. They are perfectly content to align their lives and pursue a fully committed relationship, without the need to formalize the union by marriage. This is a totally valid lifestyle choice, but one that can have a number of financial repercussions if things do not work out as planned. Married couples can protect themselves by way of a prenuptial agreement, while unmarried couples have access to a similar contract: the cohabitation agreement.

Without a legally binding contract that outlines expectations, an unmarried couple is taking a chance when purchasing a home. Even if both parties are on the mortgage, issues can arise if they are unable to see eye-to-eye when the time comes to sell the home. That can lead to legal action, which can make the experience far more stressful and expensive.

A solution is found in drafting a thorough cohabitation agreement, and including the home purchase as part of the terms. The couple can agree in advance how the equity in the home would be divided, and what would happen if one party wants to sell while the other wants to remain living in the home. This can make the division of property far easier to navigate, if the need should arise.

Cohabitation agreements are powerful legal tools that offer similar protections to s prenuptial agreement. For those in Colorado who do not envision a wedding in their future, but who are ready to build a life with their significant other, these contracts can make a world of difference in the eventual bottom line. A family law attorney can work with couples to create a document that reflects their particular set of needs and goals.  

Source:, "Cohabiting couples might want to think twice about buying a house together, experts warn", Lois M. Collins, Sept. 19, 2016

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Brandon Ceglian

Brandon Ceglian's practice focus is family law, landlord-tenant law / real estate, civil litigation, criminal / DUI, and collections. View Attorney Profile

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J. Adam Beckman

Adam Beckman’s areas of focus are family law, adoptions and prenuptial agreements, and criminal law/DUI. View Attorney Profile


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Domenic Nicotra’s practices primarily in the areas of Landlord-Tenant, Family Law, Criminal, Protection Orders, and Civil Litigation. View Attorney Profile

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Daniel J. Zolnikov

Daniel Zolnikov practices in the areas of HOA, debt collections, landlord tenant, civil litigation and construction law. View Attorney Profile