Priscilla Chan may not be as famous as her Facebook founder husband, Mark Zuckerberg, but she did bring cohabitation agreements into the spotlight when she made Zuckerberg sign a document committing to one date night and 100 minutes quality time with her every week. Whether termed "relationship contract" or "cohabitation agreement," couples not yet married are requesting these contracts as a form of pre-prenuptial agreement.
A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported a 39 percent uptick over the last five years in the number of couples requesting cohabitation agreements. The agreements have even made their way into popular culture with the CBS show, "The Big Bang Theory" having "Sheldon" and "Amy" enter into a 31-page relationship agreement. Nothing that extensive is needed in reality, of course.
While some couples may feel that a relationship contract takes the romance out of the relationship, others believe that setting clear written guidelines regarding division of household chores, financial responsibilities, quality time and even time with extended family, will help avoid confusion and hurt feelings later.
These relationship contracts are merely a way of formalizing expectations by negotiating and agreeing in advance, instead of waiting until an issue arises when one partner is getting ready to meet friends for drinks and the other is at Redbox renting a movie for “date night.”
Getting Legal Help
Experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorney Hal Bartholomew can help you navigate the issues of cohabitation agreements and other family law issues with respect and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 455-5200 or email us at info@DivorceWithRespect.com.