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Protecting Your Property Rights with a Cohabitation Agreement

Lawyer reading a bookSome couples who live together without signing the marriage certificates reach a point where they jointly own properties, including a house. Since buying a house is a huge financial obligation and emotional ties often accompany it, putting the details of the purchase in a legal agreement is vital. You need to be cautious when forming the agreement so that you do not cut yourself short on your entitlements of the property ownership. This contract should cover the following:

House ownership

If you jointly own the house with an entitlement to survivorship and one of you dies, the remaining partner automatically reserves all right of ownership. On the other hand, if you possess the home as lessees in common, the portion of the deceased partner is transferred to whoever is named on their will. If the departed spouse had no will, their share of the house should go to their blood relatives. The agreement should also state the ratio of the total worth of the house each partner owns.


The law states that if you have been cohabitating with someone for several months, they have the right to live in that house. This is irrespective of their being on the deed or lease. If you want to get rid of that person, you have to go through a legal eviction process. You will want to hire seasoned family lawyers in Townsville to help you file a “Complaint for Eviction.”

Home appraisal or buyout rights

During a separation, most couples elect to have their real estate agent appraise their house. If one partner decides to retain it, their counterpart should give them some time to pay for the ownership of the home. The duration may vary, and you should ensure that your needs and entitlements are well detailed in the agreement.

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De facto couples often face very expensive and time-consuming court battles when defending property that they acquired together. This can be avoided by forming a legal agreement outlining their rights to such assets when their relationship is blooming. The contract should contain detailed information on how their possessions should be divided when the relationship ends or one of them dies.