I don't want to hire an attorney to make a Cohabitation Agreement. Can we do it ourselves?
No. I do not recommend that a Cohabitation Agreement is a "Self-Help" document for several reasons.
First, this is an important document that may end up costing you handsomely for the mistake if you do it wrong. Unless you are well versed in the construction of contracts and familiar with property rights, I don't think most people can do this without sufficient legal training.
Second, a significant component of enforceability is ensuring that the parties understood their property rights when they entered the agreement. An enforceable Cohabitation Agreement must include either a statement that each party was represented and advised by an attorney or a "knowing waiver" of legal representation.
Third, if there is a significant difference in the assets in the parties, and the more wealthy partner is the primary drafting agent for the couple, their is a presumption against that party that drafted it - if there becomes a question about enforceability.
Fourth, the construction of a cohabitation agreement has many elements that should be present, as well as formalities that must be observed in the execution.
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If you have a general question that you would like answered by a Florida Estate Planning and Administration Attorney, please use the contact form to send Shawn a question. As long as it is general (and not too specific to your unique situation), Shawn will answer these questions in the form of a Frequently Asked Question to help you but also help others in our community.
Shawn can not offer legal advice in this format. He can only provide general information that you may find helpful. You should call an attorney and seek legal advice if you need specific legal advice.
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Law Office of Shawn C. Newman, P.A.
710 Northeast 26th Street
Wilton Manors, FL 33305-1238
Phone: (954) 563-9160
Serving all of the greater Fort Lauderdale area and Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in Southern Florida.