5 Things to Avoid When Cohabitating
🔴 Never commingle your money by opening joint accounts, incurring joint debts, or making joint purchases if you want to avoid legal complications and the possibility of a “palimony” suit for the support of your partner after a split.
🔴 Avoid holding title to major purchases in your partner’s name alone if you are both paying for that property, even if they orally agree that the house or car belongs to both of you. The deed or title is more convincing evidence than one partner’s allegation of a spoken promise.
🔴 Be cautious about co-signing or guaranteeing debts that are incurred by your partner unless you intend to be equally responsible for paying them back, even if you should split up.
🔴Remain financially independent of your partner so that you can support yourself in the future. Whereas divorced spouses may have the legal obligation to support each other, especially if one gave up a career to take care of the home and children, the same is not true of former cohabitants. Either keep up your skills and contacts in the job market or consider a written agreement setting forth your partner’s legal obligation to help support you if the relationship ends.
🔴Avoid holding yourselves out to the public as a married couple or using the same last name, even casually, if you want to avoid the legal complications of a “palimony” suit or the potential for common-law-marriage status should the relationship end.