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Lockdown Move-Ins Are Complicating Couple’s Finances – Here’s How to Stay Protected

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic became the cause for drastic changes in people’s lives – and couples were no exception. For some couples, the mental strain pushed the relationship further apart until it broke. For others, the uncertainty caused them to hold on tighter to the only certain aspect of their lives. Shacking up during the pandemic contributed greatly to strengthening the bond, too.

Pexels | The excitement of moving in often shuts out the logic

If you’re one of such couples, happier than you’ve ever been with your boo next to you, let us act as the left side of your brain as we outline the precautions you need to take in such situations. We’re sure splitting up is the last thing on your mind right now – and we’re not saying that a breakup is inevitable. However, we have to look at the stats and help you keep your assets protected in the event of a split.

Once you enter a partnership with someone, your assets are all dumped together into a huge steaming pile of legal subjectivity. If you look into the US’s property rules, you’ll come to realize where we’re coming from.

Some states even have such rules in place that aren’t fair or intuitive. For example, if you reside in California and decide to refinance your home, your spouse automatically gets some ownership, even if the property is only in your name. Who would’ve known, right?!

Pexels | The hundreds and millions of dollars you spend on your home might not even matter

So, to protect you from any surprises that come from a split, we’ve gathered some advice from divorce lawyers to help you combat the emotional and financial strain.

1. Stat on the Cohabitation Agreement

As soon as you plan on moving in together, draw up an agreement to discuss the financial aspect of your relationship, too. Without having anything in writing, your relationship will be open to speculation by the mood of a judge or arbitrator, the whims of state law, and the sentimental behaviors of your ex.

Believe it or not, if you have a live-in partner, they could claim you were in a “common law marriage” or “domestic partnership” after the breakup and come after your assets and income. This hassle can be avoided if you simply opt for an agreement.

2. Next Comes the Prenup

If you’re thinking of tying the knot, it’s time to graduate to a prenup. So the basic ground for cohabitation agreements are “what’s yours is yours, what’s mine is mine, except for XYZ”. However, linking yourself to someone in holy matrimony is a whole different ordeal. You need to put down who is responsible for what bills, outcomes of a split, and how your assets shall be distributed in the event of a death.

3. Equal Pay For Your Shared Home

After marriage, naturally, you have to start building a family home for your spouse and future kids. This is usually where one partner shows their love by being overly generous. Remember, if you put down a larger down payment, you would have to keep putting in larger chunks of the mortgage installments. If your partner cannot afford to put in as much as you do, make sure to have your postnuptial agreement verify that you own two-thirds of the property.

Pexels | Secure all decisions in the form of an agreement

Divorce can take a big toll on your finances. Many people stick with their unhealthy relationships just because they are scared of how a divorce will affect their finances or business. As they say, prevention is better than cure so, let the above-mentioned tips prevent you from finding yourself in an unwanted situation.

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