What is a Cohabitation Agreement or 'cohab'?
How much do they cost?
What steps need couples follow to create one?
How does a cohab compare with a 'state marriage'?
We can still have a wedding, right?
The CohabMonkey Cohabitation Agreement is 100% FREE.
You can access it in Google Docs, and create your own editable copy to share and work on with your partner.
Use the Monkey's free Google Doc as a starting point to create your own legal commitments based on your shared goals and circumstances as a couple.
And begin your journey to enjoying the wonderful benefits of a legally binding cohabitation agreement that you can celebrate in front of family and friends.
Like lots of other good stuff, such as Wikipedia, Firefox, Android and the Khan Academy, the CohabMonkey Cohabitation Agreement is completely open source and shareable.
Although the Cohab Monkey Cohabitation Agreement is free, you will need to perform a number of other steps to complete your Agreement. These steps will help ensure your Cohabitation Agreement is legally correct – and will provide the best foundation for a happy and successful long-term loving relationship. The Monkey recommends that all couples:
Get to know each other inside and out by each complete an online personality assessment with the MBTI®, the world's most respected personality assessment.
This costs $59.95 each (about £38 or €44).
Do what over two million couples around the world have already done: use the Couple Checkup® to gain a deeper insight into your relationship.
This costs $29.95 per couple (about £19 or €22).
Talk to a financial advisor – the more financial decisions you make early on in your relationship, the greater your chances of making a life rather than just making a living.
Your advisor will also help you complete your financial disclosures.
You will want an experienced fiancial professional who is 100% committed to putting your financial interests as a couple first.
Each get advice on your Cohab Monkey Cohabitation Agreement from two 'good' lawyers.
Your Cohabitation Agreement may not be legally binding unless you each have received separate and independent legal advice before signing it.
Lawyers charge different rates for their services – so shop around for the best deal.
A cohabitation agreement suits modern couples as it enables the couple, rather than the state, to make the important decisions affecting their relationship.
The Agreement is based on the results of the couple having completed a journey of shared personal discovery, assisted by their chosen relationship, financial and legal professionals.
Just like a so-called 'pre-nuptial agreement' or prenup, the CohabMonkey Cohabitation Agreement also incorporates a dissolution clause.
But, unlike a pre-nuptial agreement, this is not the primary focus and intention of a CohabMonkey Cohabitation Agreement.
It is more about what happens if you don't break up rather than what happens if you do.
Should couples ever decide to dissolve their relationship, they have the peace of mind of knowing what have pre-agreed. In this way they avoid what for state marriage couples is often a protracted, decades-long war with a former intimate partner.
The risk of personal, emotional and financial devastation experienced by many separated 'state marriage' couples and their children is reason alone to avoid 'state marriage'.
In contrast, the CohabMonkey Cohabitation Agreement is created to help couples make their own commitments.
The CohabMonkey Cohabitation Agreement empowers couples to design their own contract based on a deeper understanding of each other – and on growing their love for each other and for any children they may have, over time and through changing circumstances of life.
So why would I need any kind of Cohabitation Agreement?
In many countries (including Ireland since January 2011) unmarried couples living together as husband and wife – but without a Cohabitation Agreement – are deemed by the state to be 'married' – no wedding necessary!
Under these 'living together' laws one partner may now make a legal claim in the family law courts against the other's income, pension or property.
And, when one of you passes on, the other can make a claim against his or her estate. So even being dead is no escape!
Just 'drifting along' without a Cohabitation Agreement means that your relationship will come under these laws. So if you don't decide your future, the family law courts may do it for you.
Yes! Put on that dream dress, cut the cake, celebrate your cohab wedding with your friends and family, in a church or other venue, and have your special day!
BUT... you have to tell your wedding celebrant that you will NOT be signing the 'state marriage' register.
Otherwise you will be deemed married under the old 'state' system. And the 'family law courts' of the state will decide how your relationship will be dissolved.
Church and 'state' marriage are two very different things.
Your FREE Cohabitation Agreement from the Cohab Monkey is waiting for your here >>.