The Benefits Of A Cohabitation Agreement For Unmarried Couples Are Many

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.


As cohabitation is on the rise in the United States, many of those who have kids under one roof but remain unmarried often help each other with expenses. Nearly 75 percent of these households keep their assets separate but equally pay for child and household expenditures, noted the PewResearchCenter. A big portion of these households see cohabitating as a step toward marriage.

When each person is contributing to the household and they want to truly make sure each person is doing so fairly and with an eye toward the future, a cohabitation agreement can make sure each person knows their duties and responsibilities.  This type of agreement helps set the future up for success and all the anticipated events that could happen.

A recent study in the journal Family Relations echoed similar findings. Many people do not want to plunge into marriage, but decide to live together. More than 65 percent are worried about divorce and the economic, social, legal, and emotional fallout that can happen with a failed marriage. The study interviewed cohabiting women and men between 18- and 36-years-old.

The study showed a similar percentage desire to marry only once, so cohabiting is a way to test the waters.  They are living like a married couple but without the piece of paper and a ring.

A cohabitation agreement can go beyond just financial duties and child responsibilities.  Many couples use it to state their health care wishes, the division of assets and debts, and wishes for each other.  This can be important in the event of a crisis and there are opposing sides of the family.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact California Divorce Mediators at (949) 553-0911 or visit


To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”