Can Pre-Nups, Co-habitation Agreements, and Marriage Contracts be romantic?

As a family law lawyer, I have seen a number of separations and divorces.  Some have been amicable others have not.  All seem to have some level of bewilderment, confusion and the raw emotion of grieving the relationship.  These emotions can be overwhelming when considering property division and support issues.

I often hear people suggest that these agreements are not romantic or will suggest that there is a lack of trust.  Realistically, a cohabitation agreement can provide a strong sentiment of romanticism and a foundation of trust for any relationship.  

Think about the fact that:

  • A co-habitation agreement is negotiated when both people remain in the present tense of what is good about the relationship;
  • Emotions such as grief, abandonment, betrayal are not present during negotiation and this can lead to a division of assets and debts that shows a high level of objectivity, compassion and/or concern for each other;
  • Negotiating an agreement during the “good-times” can establish a foundation of transparency and trust while removing worries about what may happen in the future if “it doesn’t work out”;
  • In a society of blended families, multiple marriages, and family roles being less traditional, modern relationships are becoming more complicated than what has been contemplated by existing laws of separation and divorce.  Your agreement can outline your definition of what is fair based on your relationship.

Having a well-crafted co-habitation agreement can allow you to forget about negative “what ifs” and focus on the romance.

Disclaimer – The above information is not intended to be legal advice and is only for general information purposes.  Contracts are legally binding documents and it recommended that you seek independent legal advice prior to signing any contract.