Cohabitation in Indiana is very appealing to many people today for a variety of reasons. However, what is not so appealing is the fact there are no legal guidelines for people to follow when things go wrong. This includes during times of disagreements, ending the relationship, Illness, competency, death and when children are involved. The following outlines some of the most serious risks associated with cohabitation.
- There are no laws regarding the age or gender for cohabitation.
- Ending cohabitation does not require legal documentation.
- On average, ending cohabitation is as emotionally difficult as ending a marriage.
- When cohabitation ends, ex-partners may divide property without legal representation, but there may be disagreements about the distribution of property. The law does not provide for cohabitation disagreements.
- There is no obligation for ex-cohabitants to financially support each other.
- Cohabitants do not have the right to make health care and financial decisions about their partners unless there is a power of attorney in place that provides for such a designation.
- When a cohabitant dies, his or her family members will inherit the deceased person’s property and all other assets unless the surviving partner is listed in a will that the deceased person has created.
- Cohabitants do not have claim to property unless it is documented that the property is jointly owned.
- The father of a child born to unmarried cohabitants must establish paternity through a legal action.
- Men are not subject to an immediate obligation to financially support children of cohabitants, but must do so if paternity has been established.
- If paternity has been established for children of cohabitants, the non custodial parent must meet the same legal obligations to support his or her children as divorced parents.
Significant others in Indiana who share living quarters and daily lives together should take precautions to prevent themselves from harm. You never know when a situation may arise in which legal documentation can be valuable. It is wise for all couples to be interested in obtaining appropriate legal documentation when cohabiting.
If you or a loved one is in nerd of a lawyer, contact Burton Padove for a free consultation at 219-836-2200.