Property Rights of Unmarried Couples FAQ

What should a property agreement include?

You can tailor your property agreement to meet the needs of your relationship. The major areas of concern for most unmarried couples are:

  • how property and assets are owned, and
  • whether or not income and expenses are shared.

Some couples choose to keep all property owned -- a car, a house, furniture, and the like -- completely separate, while others choose to share some or all of their property by transferring part ownership to each other. You can also specify how you will own property that you acquire during your relationship. (If you decide not to prepare a comprehensive property agreement that covers this issue for all of your property, you can use a "joint purchase agreement" for major items as you buy them.)

Similarly, you may use your agreement to share or divide income and expenses in any number of ways. You can keep separate bank and checking accounts, credit cards, and insurance, or you can agree to handle some or all of these things jointly.

In your agreement, you may also want to decide in advance who gets what should you separate, or agree to a process for resolving any property disputes that arise if you part ways.

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