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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29820
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Can I ask some questions about a cohabitation agreement?

Customer Question

Can I ask some questions about a cohabitation agreement?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
What are your questions?
What state are you in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi!My name is ***** ***** I need some help!I've been with my boyfriend for about a year. Actually, exactly a year this Sunday.We began living together immediately. A few months at Value Place. It's kind of like Extended-Stay America. Are you familiar with it? Then about eight months in an apartment. Now we live in the house he shared with his ex-wife. His two adult sons live upstairs, as well as his wealthy best friend about half the time. I'm the only poor one. lol.Now, we are simply a non-married couple that lives together. However, Jeffrey insists I sign a Cohabitation Agreement. I love him, but he is probably the most paranoid person I have ever met and he's obsessed with protecting his assets. I don't understand why I need to sign anything when we don't present ourselves as being common-law married. (We live in the Katy area of Texas.) I definitely want to get married one day, but that's really neither here nor there because it's not a point of contention between us.I'm going to attach the Cohabitation Agreement that Jeff drafted. In my opinion it is laughable. He just said that everything is his and will always be his except my two computers, one cell phone and my "personal effects".When he first told me that I must sign this Cohabitation Agreement in order for our relationship to continue, I thought I might take advantage of the situation to protect myself. He has a terrible temper and has kicked me out several times, threatened to kick me out, called the cops on me when I was being mean, disabled my phone, hid my computers, dragged me across the floor (I still have scars) and out the front door of the apartment. (He got away with kicking me out in a rage at the apartment complex several times because I was not on the lease.) His divorce was not final and he said his lawyer recommended I not be on the lease. I believed it at the time, but not now.I drank alcoholically at the beginning of our relationship, so I blamed most of the bad incidents on myself. And then my brother died and I probably stayed drunk and in bed for weeks. Jeff did take care of me during that time.We do really love each other and we're starting couples counseling next week. That, and neither of us wants to start over with the dating scene again. lol.I don't really care anymore about having to sign something saying that none of our stuff is mine. And all this silliness has inspired me to FINISH my degree, so I'll never need his support anyway... except for now. He keeps procrastinating when it comes to getting me a vehicle. I cannot live in the suburbs without a car. He blames it on money (yeah, right) and some very minor legal trouble and incidents that infuriated him. He says he's having trouble trusting me, now. Never mind that until recently, he's kicked me out on a regular basis. Put me through a year of heck in the suburbs. And, participated in most of the activities that are causing me legal trouble. He just didn't get caught. I live in Katy because I love Jeffrey. That is the only reason.Since he insists on having me sign something that says that our stuff belongs to him and will never belong to me, can I use this opportunity to negociate other things? Can the Cohabitation Agreement specify that he buy me a small, inexpensive car immediately? Everyone in the family drives Hyundais. I want the cheapest one - an Accent. White and new, but last year's model is perfectly fine.He put a bunch of things that he plans to provide for me in the event that we break up, like time to pack, get my own phone account - all common sense/decent stuff that he has failed to provide in the past..But, since we are negociating a contract, would it be a good time to demand a car? He's the kind of person who would not appreciate any demand or ultimatum, but he's demanding that I sign this silly agreement. What about money? I don't work. This lack of security with Jeff has inspired me to become marketable as soon as possible. He has offered to pay my credit card bill if I will just get one. (With a low credit-limit, of course.) (For the past year he's just thrown me a little cash here and there, along with two $500 Visa cash cards. I've shyed away from getting a credit card in my name because I don't know how having to disclose such information will affect school grants and loans, and a host of other government-related assistance. For example, if Jeffrey and I don't stay together, I am going to apply for SSI and Public Housing so hopefully finishing school will be less of a money-crunch.I'm starving! I'm going to go eat something incredibly unhealthy and then probably get back to cleaning/un-packing. I'm almost done!Talk to you soon.
~Priscilla Busby
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it unreasonable to demand a car after a YEAR in KATY? (I lived right by the train station before. I hate the suburbs.)Also, if getting a credit card in my name won't negatively affect my applications for government assistance, is it unreasonable to ask that he co-sign until the limit is at least $1,000?He's the kind of person that would not put any money toward the scholarship that was created in my brother's name after he overdosed. Bad tipper. Doesn't really buy presents except for me and his children. He is somewhat generous with us. But he buys/chooses almost everything. Has to be in control.Let me know what you think about the car and the credit limit.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I'm afraid I'm not able to review the agreement for you, as that would be providing legal advice, rather than general information. It is always a good idea to have a local attorney review a document before you sign it.
You're allowed to ask for whatever you want in exchange for your signature on that agreement. An agreement is supposed to be two-sided. There's give and take. Both of you are supposed to get something. If you sign away all of your rights and all you get is to continue the relationship, that's not fair at all.
The purpose of agreements is usually to define what happens if the relationship ends, not behavior during the relationship. So asking that he buy you a car now is a little unusual, but not per se unreasonable. There's also no reason you can't ask that he co-sign a credit card for you. As long as you both agree and sign it, it's enforceable.
It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Thank you.