This is part two in a three-part overview of domestic partner/cohabitation agreements. Part one discussed financial and property matters that can be addressed in these agreements. Below, part two will cover family issues.
Family & Living
One of the many purposes of a domestic partner/cohabitation agreement is to document for a court and any other interested parties (i.e. an employer from which you wish to obtain domestic partner benefits) the “family nature” of the cohabiting parties’ relationship and living arrangements.
Questions to Consider
- Are there children living with you? What are the responsibilities of the nonparent?
- Are you and your partner thinking of having children or adopting? Will one partner carry the baby and the other partner adopt after birth? Are you considering a surrogate or anonymous or known sperm or egg donor?
There are many ways to have children; couples should talk to someone, such as an attorney experienced in adoptions and related issues, to create a written agreement that outlines parenting expectations.
For example, after the baby is born and before any adoption, you may want an agreement that states your wish for your partner to adopt the baby and until the time of the adoption she/he will share responsibilities for the baby and be the guardian. This is important because if something happens to the adoptive or birth parent, the Court and relatives know your wishes regarding your child. Or, if a second parent adoption is not allowed in your state, you may want to have a document stating that you want your partner to adopt your baby at the time such adoption is allowed in your State, and the non-adopting parent shall be the child’s guardian until such adoption.
Please check back for more information on Potential Separations.