Cohabiting Vs. Marriage: What Are Your Legal Rights?

Today, cohabitation is rapidly gaining popularity over marriage. Many millennial couples think of marriage as an old-fashioned tradition, while others don’t see the need to legalize their relationship. Cohabitation is also restriction-free, which means they don’t have to deal with divorce or be forced to stay in a toxic relationship.

But, as more people move in together, the question of boundaries and rights comes into play. If you’re a cohabiting couple in Nevada, here what  you need to know: 

What are the Rights of Married Couples? 

Since marriage is a legal contract, couples have far more rights as compared to those who are cohabiting. If a spouse passes away, the partner automatically inherits everything unless stated in a will otherwise. In terms of banking, a married couple can set up joint accounts, which gives both partners the right to the money despite who may have deposited it. Similarly, if a debt is registered as a couple, both will be held accountable. You will also have housing, property tax, pension, and spousal support rights if you are married. 

What are the Rights of Cohabiting Couples? 

Cohabiting couples don’t enjoy the same rights that are granted to married couples, especially when it comes to property and assets. This is why we recommend forming a cohabitation agreement. This can be done in writing to ensure both partners get a fair share in case of separation or death. 

 A gavel on a black background.

What Does a Cohabitation Agreement Entail?

This agreement states that both partners have the right to visit the other in the hospital. They also have the right to make crucial medical decisions, inherit their partner’s property in case of death without a will, and have the right to own assets as community property. Other terms that can be included in the agreement are a fair distribution of property in case of a breakup, and financial support post-break-up (similar to spousal support.

However, it’s important to remember that you might have to give up some of your substantial rights for this agreement. This is why it’s best to hire an experienced attorney who can assess and analyze the situation before signing any deals.

If you’re thinking of signing a cohabitation agreement, get in touch with our experienced and reliable lawyers in Reno. The Anderson Keuscher law firm has a team of experienced property division attorneys, divorce lawyers, adoption lawyers, and child custody Lawyers. We can assist with all legal matters to help you determine your rights. Get in touch with our family lawyers today.