Non-marital Property Division

Minnesota Family Law attorney Melisa Field shares how real property is split up between non-married couples.

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Couples who have never been married but who live together in anticipation of a sexual relationship have the ability to enter into a cohabitation agreement. And that agreement can decide how they’re going to divide property and financials if they decide to separate at some time in the future. That has to be a contract, it has to be written, and then it needs to be enforced after the relationship ends. A lot of people will decide to enter into a cohabitation agreement so they know what’s going to happen with sharing of income during the marriage or with property that they buy jointly. If there isn’t a contract, it becomes very difficult for the court to figure out what was going on. And actually, if it was a relationship between two parties, an intimate relationship and there isn’t a contract you actually can’t go and pursue the other one when you’ve shared income. It really is important to have these types of agreements; otherwise, the court can’t do anything. You have the ability to bring an unjust enrichment claim but the facts have to be pretty substantial for that.

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