Prenuptial agreements are becoming very popular among a surprising crowd: unmarried couples. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, unmarried couples are increasingly seeking to draft something similar to a prenuptial agreement to protect their assets should the relationship end. These documents are called cohabitation agreements.
According to the AAML, 39 percent of divorce attorneys who participated in a poll said that they observed an increase in cohabitation agreements over the previous five years. Like an Arizona prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement is a legal contract that protects the assets of each party, as well as details preferences of child custody and support obligations.
Additionally, the AAML reported that about half of the attorneys surveyed said they witnessed increasing numbers of litigation between unmarried partners who had lived together. This may be because a record number of adults are currently choosing to live together rather than marry. Just 51 percent of adults are choosing marriage over cohabitation, according to studies.
While Arizona's family law statutes govern the division of assets as well as child custody, alimony and child support issues when a married couple divorces, there are not such detailed laws that come into play when an unmarried couple breaks up. This is what attracts many to cohabitation agreements.
Cohabitation agreements, like prenuptial agreements, should be drafted with a family law attorney. It is typically best for each party to have his or her own attorney who can ensure that the terms are suitable and that the division is fair and acceptable.
Source: CNN Money, "Prenups aren't just for married couples anymore," Jessica Dickler, March 20, 2012