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Kardos, Rickles & Hand Bucks County Divorce Attorney
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Bucks County Domestic Partnership & Cohabitation Agreement Attorney

For two individuals in a relationship but not married, the law provides ways to recognize the partnership and provide rights that are normally available to married couples. In Pennsylvania, this takes the form of domestic partnerships and cohabitation agreements in different parts of the state. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of domestic partnerships and cohabitation agreements in the Newtown area, call or contact our Bucks County domestic partnership & cohabitation agreement attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand today to schedule a consultation of your case.

What is a Domestic Partnership?

A domestic partnership is a legally recognized union between two people who are not legally married. This was a popular option for couples prior to the legalization of gay marriage and is still utilized by couples that wish to bestow certain rights on their partner without legally getting married. In Pennsylvania, domestic partnerships are not recognized statewide, but the City of Philadelphia does recognize domestic partnerships for couples that provides them with the same rights and benefits as other spouses, including healthcare and leave benefits if they work as exempt city employees. 

Cohabitation Agreements

For the rest of Pennsylvania, couples that would like to recognize certain rights who cohabitate but are not married can utilize a cohabitation agreement. This is a legal document that establishes each person’s rights and responsibilities in the relationship, including but not limited to financial obligations, property interests, child custody, and parenting responsibility.

A cohabitation agreement can also dictate what happens to certain assets, debts, and familial responsibilities if the relationship ends. It can identify separate property that each person retains after the relationship ends as well as what property was acquired together and subject to be split between the couple. It can also identify property interest in any gift or inheritance directed to a single person in the relationship as well as who pays what bills both during and after a relationship ends.

Cohabitation agreements can be particularly important for couples where only one parent is the biological or adoptive parent, but the other person in the relationship wants to preserve their legal parental rights. This document can establish legal parental rights to custody and visitation with a minor child even if the relationship between the parents does not ultimately work out. Without this agreement, the person without biological rights to a child could lose the right to see them entirely once a relationship ends. To learn more about the benefits of a cohabitation agreement or domestic partnerships talk to an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney today.

Call or Contact Kardos, Rickles & Hand Today

Domestic relationship and cohabitation agreements are a good option for all couples, gay or straight, that wish to establish rights for each other without going the process of a legal marriage. To learn more about these options for you and your partner, call the office or contact us at Kardos, Rickles & Hand in Bucks County to schedule a consultation of your case.

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