With more and more couples choosing to live together rather than get married, legal ownership of property has become a somewhat murky issue in the legal realm. Unlike a traditional marriage and Texas divorce, which include common law marriages and unions, domestic partners do not always enjoy the same legal rights of ownership in the event of an untimely death or separation. It is important therefore to consult with a qualified property and domestic relations attorney who can draft documentation to protect your legal rights.

Do We Need a Property Agreement?

If you and your partner are actively sharing property or are living together, you may need to consider drafting a property agreement to clearly document who owns specific items. This is especially important if you decide to buy a home together. If the home was purchased using anything other than a 50-50 split, the ownership percentage must be clearly established. Additionally, the agreement should include rights of survivorship in the event of the death of one partner as well as property distribution should the relationship dissolve.

Debts

Unlike a traditional Texas divorce, debts are not equally shared between partners unless both partners are signers of that debt or the debt is incurred to a joint account. In a traditional marriage, spouses may be held responsible for all debt accumulated during the course of the marriage. Prior to guaranteeing any debt for your partner, you should understand the responsibilities and liabilities should your partner fail to pay his portion, as you may be strapped with paying he full amount if they cease paying.

Don’t Give in To Emotion

Unfortunately, when relationships end, emotions tend to run high. You may be angry, hurt, confused, sad, or depressed. When property is added to that mix, people can sometimes make hasty decisions which are not in their overall best interests. Whether they decide to leave everything with their partner or they are determined to fight for each item, this is not the best time to make decisions which will affect your long-term financial future. It’s far better to plan ahead and document everything.

The firm, Goldstein & Scopellite, PC, with its experienced property, lgbt and litigation attorneys, has an excellent track-record. The firm, located in Dallas, Texas, was established in 2002; and now only takes selected clients.  Contact the firm at 214-351-9100 for more information.

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