Co-habitation Attorney in Santa Rosa, CA

Get Started with Your Cohabitation Journey in California!

Have you and your partner ever wondered if you have the same legal protections as married couples despite your lack of a wedding ring? Couples who have been living together for a long time and consider themselves to be married are recognized as married in some states. Sadly, California is not one of them.However, unmarried couples in California may not have the same rights as married couples, but they still enjoy some privileges. A cohabitation attorney in Santa Rosa, CA, can help protect these rights and provide clear counsel.Founded in 2000 in Northern California, Embolden Law PC is the go-to firm for clients in Sonoma County and the greater Bay Area in all matters involving family law, business law, litigation, and more. Our skilled Santa Rosa family lawyers have worked in the legal field for many years. We are proud of the fact that we can help you find a solution as quickly as possible with the best possible results. Call our California law firm for free to discuss your case today!

What is cohabitation?

When two people who are not married decide to live together, they can make it official by signing a “cohabitation agreement.” Like any other contract, it is a promise to do (or refrain from doing) something in exchange for something of value, known as “consideration.” Otherwise, it’s just a promise to hand over a gift, and the law won’t enforce that.With the help of a co-habitation agreement, unmarried couples can determine in advance how they will handle their financial and property matters throughout the relationship and in the event of a breakup.Cohabitation has never been more prevalent. Here are just a few statistics, according to the 2010 Census:

  • Over 7.5 million unmarried couples (or 15 million individuals) live together. This is a 138% growth rate since 1990 and an increase of 13% in 2009.
  • 40% of unmarried homes have children.
  • The percentage of seniors cohabiting has climbed dramatically in the past decade and continues to rise.

If you are part of an unmarried couple who share a home, you are undoubtedly relieved to hear that you are not alone. This is not to say that you should disregard how legislation impacts your relationship.

What Is a Cohabitation Agreement in California?

A cohabitation agreement is intended to protect both spouses from the possibility of dispute and monetary damage in the unlikely event of a split or the sudden death of one of the partners. It is especially important if one or both partners have substantial assets, real estate holdings, significant revenue, and/or a large net worth.In California, a cohabitation agreement is a type of relationship contract with mutually agreed-upon terms that define demands, protect assets, recognize intangible contributions, and reduce litigation risk. These are some examples of topics that should be addressed in a contract:

  1. Cost and obligation distribution, such as who pays the electric bill or walks the dog.
  2. Whether specific property purchased jointly during the relationship, such as automobiles, homes, and furnishings, will be considered joint or separate property.
  3. Whether or not to pay post-divorce support (palimony).
  4. Whether the child-care partner is eligible for financial or academic assistance.
  5. Which party will live in the house after separating, and whether the other party is required to buy them out.
  6. Which assets will pass to the other if the partner dies.

What is a common-law marriage?

The Family Code’s obligations, rights, and remedies regarding property and support are predicated on the existence of a valid marriage or legally recognized domestic partnership. Many people in California think that a couple is considered to have a common-law marriage if they have been living together for at least seven years. However, unless the marriage took place before 1895, no such period of time ever constitutes a common law marriage, and common law marriage is no longer recognized in California.While common law marriage is not recognized by California law, it is treated the same way as any other marriage in California if it was legally established in another state. In California, partners who decide to end a common-law marriage must also follow the standard divorce process, just like they would with any other marriage.

Which States Allow for common-law marriages?

You might be able to get married in California if you lived together in a state that has permitted common-law marriage in the past. In order for California to recognize your common-law marriage, you and your partner must have met the requirements of the other state. Since these regulations vary from state to state, it is essential to speak with a family lawyer to determine whether you meet the requirements. Generally speaking, most states demand that you present yourself as married by filing tax returns jointly and using the same last name.

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Montana
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • South Carolina
  • Utah

What Are Unmarried Couples’ Rights in California?

Whether you were not legally married or do not meet the requirements for common law marriage in another state, you may still be entitled to the same rights as divorced spouses. For example, if you have reason to believe you had a valid marriage, you may be eligible for financial assistance and asset division. It may be difficult to demonstrate that you had a reasonable belief, especially if there was a technological issue during the wedding.

Why do I need a California cohabitation attorney?

Since living-together agreements can be very specific and private, it is important to talk to an experienced family law attorney about them and make sure they are clear and can be defended. At Embolden Law PC, our family law attorneys understand the law about cohabitation in California and can help you write a customized living-together agreement that will govern your relationship and protect you if you ever get divorced.When looking for a cohabitation attorney, look for the following traits:

  • Comparable Case Experience. Experience in comparable situations is one factor to consider while looking for the best counsel for you. Embolden Law PC has demonstrated throughout the years that our firm is able to handle every circumstance. Our California attorneys can help you with everything from bankruptcy to divorce and child support.
  • Communicative skills. Communication is critical in legal matters such as cohabitation agreements. You must employ an attorney to defend you and communicate with the other party, judges, other legal professionals, and your partner. When choosing a lawyer, the ability to explain what you’re seeking to an opposing party is necessary. With years of legal experience, we can assist you in speaking, being heard, and getting a favorable outcome.
  • Understanding of Jurisdiction Laws. Naturally, a lawyer must be conversant with local rules and regulations. Land regulations differ greatly across states. A cohabitation lawyer who is familiar with local laws is the most suitable option for your circumstances. In California, it makes perfect sense to choose an attorney who is well-versed in California law and knows how to attain the best possible outcome. Thankfully, our Embolden Law PC team is here to assist.

Our Santa Rosa attorneys have extensive trial and appellate court experience in both California State Courts and Federal Courts in the United States. We work together as a team and bring in certified professionals as needed to help with or disprove your claim as best we can. Talk to one of our lawyers about your case for free over the phone.

Call our Co-habitation Attorney in Santa Rosa, CA!

If you think a cohabitation agreement would be good for your situation, you should talk to an experienced California cohabitation lawyer who can help you write an agreement that can be enforced and make sure it is followed.At Embolden Law PC, we sincerely care about our clients, their welfare, and their legal proceedings. Our goal is to find a favorable settlement for your legal problem the first time. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.Embolden Law PC is a California-based law firm that also provides legal services in the following areas:

  • Child Support
  • Parental Legitimation
  • Prenuptial Agreement


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