Cohabitation Agreement Pennsylvania

Cohabitation Agreement: Protecting Yourself and Your Assets in Pennsylvania

Cohabitation, or living together as an unmarried couple, is becoming increasingly common in today`s society. It can be a choice for those who wish to forego marriage, or a step taken before deciding to tie the knot. Whatever the reason, it is important for cohabitants to protect themselves and their assets by considering a cohabitation agreement.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal contract between individuals who live together but are not married. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party, and can cover a range of topics, such as property ownership, financial contribution, and even child custody arrangements.

Why Consider a Cohabitation Agreement in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, cohabitation does not create any legal rights or obligations, unlike marriage. This means that if the relationship ends, there is no automatic protection or division of assets. A cohabitation agreement can provide the necessary legal safeguards for cohabitants.

Additionally, Pennsylvania does not recognize common law marriage. This means that simply living together for a certain amount of time does not automatically grant the rights and benefits of marriage. A cohabitation agreement can serve as a substitute for a common law marriage.

What Should be Included in a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement should be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the individuals involved. However, some common provisions may include:

– Property ownership: This outlines how property acquired during the relationship will be owned and divided in the event of a breakup.

– Financial contribution: This specifies how expenses will be shared during the relationship, and how debts will be handled if the relationship ends.

– Support and alimony: This determines whether one party will provide financial support to the other after the breakup.

– Child custody and support: This establishes the rights and responsibilities of each party in the event of a breakup involving children.

– Dispute resolution: This outlines how disagreements will be resolved, such as through mediation or arbitration.

How to Create a Cohabitation Agreement in Pennsylvania

Creating a cohabitation agreement can be done without legal counsel, but it is highly recommended that each party consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney can ensure that the agreement is legally sound and provide guidance on what provisions should be included.

Once the agreement is created, it should be signed and notarized by both parties. It is also advisable to review and update the agreement regularly as circumstances change.


Cohabitation can be a fulfilling and convenient lifestyle choice, but it is important to be aware of the legal implications. By considering a cohabitation agreement, cohabitants can protect themselves and their assets in the event of a breakup. If you are living together in Pennsylvania, consider speaking with an attorney to create a cohabitation agreement that is tailored to your needs.