Nicaud & Sunseri Law Firm, LLC
Southshore: 504-662-9596
Northshore: 985-218-0494

Making The Complex Understandable

Living together without marriage: A major risk

When you moved in with your girlfriend or boyfriend, you were happy not to look into marriage. Neither of you wanted to tie the knot, but you were both happy being together. The problem is that you now want to split up, but you have no legal arrangements in place to protect your assets. You don't agree on what you should get versus what he or she should obtain, and it's a major concern to both of you.

As an unmarried couple, it's important to understand that you may not have the same protections that you would have if you'd gotten married in the past. The law treats you like separate individuals, which means you have no real rights or responsibilities if your relationship ends.

What about the house?

Property is usually of serious concern to individuals who were not married but both invested. If the property is in one person's name, then it nearly does not matter if the party not named on the mortgage makes payments or performs maintenance on the property. In fact, that individual could lose everything.

The only way to get a part of the property if you don't have a previous arrangement is to show that it was intended for both of you and that you should be entitled to a share. For instance, if you can show you moved in at the same time, worked with a realtor together and can get a witness statement or have other documents showing you and the other person purchased the property to live together, you may be able to obtain a share through court intervention.

What should you do if you want to live together but don't want to get married?

There are other legal protections you should look into if you live together and don't want to get married. Purchasing property in both parties' names, having a legal agreement in place regarding your cohabitation and other possibilities will help you protect your interests in the event of a split.

The reality is that not all people want to get married, and that shouldn't impact your rights. However, it is vital for you to take further steps to protect yourself if you don't want to get married to your partner. You may need to sign agreements and contracts to make sure the court recognizes your right to property or assets if you and your partner decide to split up.

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Metairie Office
3000 18th Street
Metairie, LA 70002

Phone: 504-662-9596
Fax: 504-833-2843
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Covington Office
7020 Highway 190 West Service Rd
Suite A-104
Covington, LA 70433

Phone: 985-218-0494
Fax: 985-624-9698
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