When you are in a relationship with someone, you might decide to move in together. This is a risk for you and that person because you never know if it will work out. People who are married when they move in together have certain responsibilities to each other.
If you want any legal responsibilities between you and your significant other, you need to enter into a nonmarital agreement. This is an agreement that is created by you and your significant other, signed by both parties and used to govern various aspects of the relationship.
What is a nonmarital agreement?
A nonmarital agreement is like a prenuptial agreement but for people who aren't getting married. It can cover the same points as a premarital agreement, including who is going to do what in the relationship and what happens to everything you amass if you end up separating. You can even include information about who is going to pay what expenses, either by laying out each expense or by simply assigning each party a percentage of the expenses that they will be responsible to pay.
Why should I seek a nonmarital agreement?
You might not want to have to approach the subject, but you should realize that this agreement gives you and your significant other protections to ensure that neither party gets over on the other person. Since the agreement is a mutual agreement, you and your significant other can adjust the terms as necessary before you sign the agreement. Make sure that you think carefully about the terms and that you are willing to abide by them because a nonmarital agreement is legal and binding.
Source: FindLaw, "Nonmarital Agreement & Living Together Contracts," accessed April 14, 2017