Cohabitation Before Marriage And Its Legal Consequences

Cohabitation allows couples to live together without getting married. However, if you are a divorcee who receives spousal support, you have to understand that cohabitation may result in the termination of support.

Impact of Cohabitation on Child Custody

You can save time and money if you and your estranged spouse agree on a child custody agreement. Courts will approve your agreement if it is beneficial to your children. On the other hand, if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree on suitable custody arrangements, the court will decide who should get custody.

While making arrangements for child custody, the judges will consider several factors including cohabitation. If you were given the custody rights and the judges feel that your cohabitation will affect your children negatively, they may change the original custody award.

Courts also expect parents to behave responsibly and have a stable job. Judges prefer to give custody rights to parents who can be role models to their children.

Impact of Cohabitation on Spousal Support

If you receive spousal support, cohabiting with your partner may change that. Your need for financial support and your monthly expenses may change when you share your house with another person. In most states in the US, the courts may terminate support if they are convinced that your need for financial support has reduced as a result of cohabitation. In California, cohabiting couples are considered as domestic partners, and have some rights of married couples.

If you are the person who requests the termination of spousal support, you will have to prove that your ex-spouse’s financial situation has changed considerably after cohabitation. On the other hand, if the agreement made by you and your ex-spouse says that cohabitation will not affect support, it will remain the way it is regardless of the laws in your state.

Cohabitation laws can be confusing and complicated, and it’s best to seek the help of an experienced attorney such as Anne Dowden Saxton. At our law office, we can help you decide if cohabitation is the right solution for your situation. Contact us today to make an informed decision.

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