Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

Recent Pew Research Center figures showed that cohabitation arrangements have climbed while marriages have dropped. If people are choosing to live with their partner rather than get married, what happens when this relationship changes or falls apart? Unlike divorces, we would be less likely to see these effects, as they would happen in private. Geena Davis’s break-up dispute is a public example of what can go wrong when cohabitation falls apart. The issue is that two people who never made a formal or legal agreement are not on the same page about what happens when this arrangement comes to an end (or even what the arrangement was in the first place). Reza Jarrahar filed for divorce, but Davis claimed their marriage wasn’t legal, despite having a marriage ceremony. Both spouses had no idea how to react or protect themselves when the partnership ended.

Falling into Cohabitation

Living together is something couples often fall into without making plans for the future. This can be fine for a while, but if children or shared finances enter the picture, things can get complicated. Some reasons why you might need to make cohabitation agreements include:

– Deciding how to provide for the other partner in the event of a split
– Deciding what to do about the mortgage, or shared lease if you split (and where you live)
– Deciding what to do about the kids if you split
– Deciding what to do about assets
– Having a better sense of what’s yours and mine in the event of a break-up (inherited objects etc.)

Mediating Your Cohabitation “Prenup”

Your cohabitation pre-nup or cohabitation agreement is a plan for what to do if your cohabitation relationship falls apart, and it can also be a part of your general plans for the future. Estate planning and end-of-life planning can be particularly important for cohabiting partners as their partner might be legally excluded from many aspects of their care and legacy unless nominated. Facing the possibility of a break-up unfortunately is equally necessary. Mediation is a process facilitated by a neutral third party that helps you tackle these emotional and difficult issues. BCS ensures these conversations can be handled sensitively, so your partner won’t feel threatened by talk of a break-up. We use approaches like game theory, communication theory and psychoanalysis in our mediations. Our mediators are financial experts who can help you make a plan that takes into account taxes, the value of your assets and a range of considerations, such as health insurance, student debt, your mortgage or lease (some people may be loath to give up rent-controlled living situations) and personal property. We can also help you make a plan for how to care for your kids in the event of a break-up.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. Resolution of your conflicts or differences is particularly important in cohabiting relationships as it results in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate. We provide high-level divorce mediation, marital mediation and mediation for a variety of family and estate issues. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce or relationship change. You can visit us at our offices in Boulder, CO, Campbell, CA, Irvine, CA and Beverly Hills, CA. We can also be reached by Telephone, Zoom or Facetime. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.

Number of U.S. adults cohabiting with a partner continues to rise, especially among those 50 and older


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