When couples enter committed relationships, they often want to have legal recognition for that relationship. In Florida, the best way to do this, short of marriage, is to enter a domestic partnership in a county or city in which domestic partnerships are recognized.
Whether a couple is heterosexual or homosexual, a domestic partnership can provide some legal recognition that the relationship is indeed “real.” It also enables partners to enter into cohabitation agreements that can define their financial and personal obligations to each other.
Stuart N. House, P.A., in Coral Springs, Florida, represents couples in Broward County, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in drafting and enacting domestic partnership agreements.
Our attorney, Stuart N. House, is a highly experienced Florida family lawyer who understands the dynamics of personal relationships and the legal mechanisms that recognize those relationships under law. He can assist you in applying for a domestic partnership, as well as in drafting a cohabitation agreement that can confer rights to your significant other — providing access to finances, establishing inheritance rights, and creating powers of attorney for health care decisions.
If you are worried about being shut out of your partner’s medical decisions in a medical emergency, or if you wish to leave money and possessions to your partner if you die, a cohabitation agreement can be invaluable. It can also be a useful tool for defining the “break up rules” for your relationship in the unfortunate event that you split up. Unmarried couples cannot legally divorce, but they can predetermine the financial and, to some degree, personal details of how a breakup will occur.
Knowing in advance who will keep the house, the dog, the retirement fund, and other assets can bring clarity and peace of mind to anyone involved in a committed domestic partnership.