Although domestic partnership agreements are not legally recognized in Nebraska, there are ways to legally protect your rights when parties agree to cohabit without one of these agreements. As more and more individuals are choosing to live together and raise a family, without getting married, the concept of cohabitation agreements in Omaha becomes more and more requested. Some of the issues that can cause disputes for unmarried couples are sharing expenses, and assets and the question of what happens if one of you should die or if you break up.

What are Cohabitation Agreements?

A cohabitation agreement, much like a prenuptial agreement without the nuptials, is a contract between two unmarried partners setting the terms of their agreement. Although these types of agreements are not currently recognized in Nebraska, there are other ways to protect your rights in a legally binding manner if you are cohabitating.

For assets, it is important to title assets in a way that legally recognizes each party’s ownership interest in the asset. Whether a home is titled in one party’s name or both makes all the difference if a party dies or the relationship ends.

To protect the other individual in the event of the death of one of the parties, well-crafted estate planning documents and formally stated life insurance beneficiaries protect the surviving party and their children. These estate planning documents could include a will, trust, or similar legal documents in addition to a health care power of attorney or property power of attorney in case a party becomes incapacitated.

Protecting Each Other and Avoiding Disputes

  • If your partner owns the house, are you tossed out at their death?
  • If you become sick, do you want your partner to make medical decisions for you and be allowed to see you at the hospital?

Without preparing the appropriate legal documents and properly titling assets, you are stuck with state laws, which often give a partner little or no rights, much unlike a married couple.

Investing in preparing the estate planning documents and in an attorney’s assistance in properly titling assets will inform and protect each party of what rights each should expect if the relationship ends or one person dies.  This helps avoid devastating conflict and expensive litigation.

A little money spent now can save huge expenses later on. Further, investing in this type of review with an attorney allows a couple to talk about finances and make sure both people enter the relationship with a complete understanding of the other person’s expectations of ownership of jointly used assets. A small amount of negotiation between a couple early can avoid heated disputes or an unfair division of assets later.

Cohabitation Agreements and Rights to your Children

When married parents divorce, the issues of custody, parenting time, and child support are decided within the divorce action.  When unmarried parents separate, child-related issues are determined in a custody case.  In Nebraska, this includes taking a required parenting class and attempting mediation to come up with a parenting plan of parenting time.  Although the parents can enter into a custody agreement while cohabitating, it is not binding upon the Court should the Court believe that such terms are not in the children’s best interests.

Even though parties are not getting married, this doesn’t mean that their rights and interests should not be protected. Proper estate planning documents and properly titling assets, although not romantic, protects you and your significant other and gives you both the peace of mind that if the relationship ends, a long drawn out battle can hopefully be avoided and each party will walk away with their fair share of assets.

What Your Cohabitation Agreement Lawyer Will Do for You

Although these type of agreements are not currently recognized in Nebraska, we have an experienced Family Law Lawyer in Omaha ready to help you with the planning that protects cohabitating parties under Nebraska law. Our attorneys can help you create a cohabitation agreement that involves:

  • Listening to your plans, reviewing your assets and brainstorming ideas of ways to protect your share of the assets under Nebraska law.
  • Representing your interests. Though your partner does not have to hire a lawyer, we cannot represent both parties.
  • Drafting the Estate Planning documents, assisting with changing titles to assets, and drafting a custody order and parenting plan for your partner’s review or, reviewing your partner’s proposed documents with you.

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If you are facing a:

  • divorce
  • child custody, or child support action

Shouldn’t you hire a divorce and family law attorney in Omaha you can count on? Because trial is not always the best option, our clients also count on us to fight for them at all the pretrial stages of their case. We work to resolve issues outside of the courtroom when possible to keep costs low and tensions to a minimum.

If you are faced with a divorce, child custody, child support action or any other family law cases in Omaha, contact Fowler & Kelly Law, LLP, the best Divorce Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.