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What to do when asked to sign a prenup or cohabitation agreement

It's not unheard of for a Georgia resident to ask a boyfriend or girlfriend to sign a cohabitation agreement before they move into their house or apartment. Some cohabitation agreements say that the partner signing the document will be left with nothing financially should the relationship end in divorce.

While not common, cohabitation agreements can be wise in certain situations. This is because many couples start out as boyfriend and girlfriend living with each other before getting married some time later. When they get divorced, it becomes difficult to divide property that may have existed prior to the marriage.

It might lack prudence for one person in the relationship to sign a cohabitation agreement that was prepared by the attorney of the other partner. It would be best for a person to take the copy of the provided agreement and show it to their own lawyer.

Usually, the individual who provides the cohabitation agreement does so because they have more to lose financially in the case of a divorce. Still, the individual being asked to sign the agreement may understandably feel some reluctance because they don't want to put themselves in a position where they are giving up all of their financial rights.

In these circumstances, communication is key. It is important for each person in the relationship to define what is important to them financially. The beauty of legal documents like cohabitation agreements is that they can be tailored to meet the needs of all the parties involved.

A family law attorney may be able to help a client who wants to write up a cohabitation or prenuptial agreement. If the relationship ends up in divorce, legal counsel could provide advice on issues such as the division of property, assets and debt.

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