Legal Agreement to Cohabitate Between Unmarried Persons

THIS AGREEMENT is made and entered into this Third day of March, in the City of CITY, COUNTY County, Tennessee, by and between DAVID (hereinafter referred to as CLARK and MARTHA (hereinafter referred to as STEWART with reference to the following facts:

A. The parties to this agreement are not now, never have been, and do not contemplate becoming married to one another.

B. The parties desire to live with one another for an unspecified period of time in the future (the cohabitation period).

The parties wish to set forth in writing their mutual understanding of their respective rights, expectations, and obligations with respect to one another and to each item of real, personal, or combined property, whether earned or acquired by gift, bequest, devise, descent or otherwise, before, during, and after the cohabitation period.

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants contained in this agreement, the parties agree to the following provisions:

Agreement Not to Be Governed by Laws Applicable to Marriage

1. The parties acknowledge that they would not cohabit with one another in the absence of this Agreement. Both parties wish to avoid the duties and obligations of a marital relationship. Both parties choose to live together in accordance with and pursuant to the terms of this Agreement rather than to be bound by formal State regulations governing marriage or the dissolution thereof.

Relationship of the Parties

2. From time to time during the cohabitation period the parties may learn of confidential information that concerns the other or may exchange confidences with one another. The parties expressly understand and agree that any confidential relationship that may develop during the cohabitation period shall not make either party a fiduciary with regard to the other or impose any duties or obligations on one another than those expressly provided for in this Agreement.

Recognition of Relationship Publicly

3. Each party will use his or her own name and will not under any circumstances, except pursuant to a written agreement signed by both parties, use all or part of the name of the other on any instruments or documents, including bank accounts, checking accounts, and charge accounts. The parties further agree not to represent themselves to anyone, whether relative, friend, acquaintance, or stranger, as husband and wife or as sharing the same last name. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if from time to time either of the parties uses the other's name with or without the other's consent, if the parties use the same name, or if the parties represent themselves as husband and wife, then such use or representation shall in no way be construed as, and is not intended by the parties as evidence of, an express, implied, or other agreement for the sharing of earnings and property accumulations or for the support of one by the other. Nor shall it be considered evidence of any intent on the part of the parties to modify the terms of this Agreement.

No Prior Agreements

4. Except as set forth in this Agreement, the parties hereby acknowledge that they have not heretofore expressly, impliedly, or otherwise entered into any agreements of any nature whatsoever with respect to one another's property or earnings, whenever or however acquired, or with respect to the support of one another during or after the period of cohabitation. Without in any way limiting the foregoing, the parties hereby acknowledge that they have not agreed to pool earnings, enter into any partnership agreement, enter into any joint venture, make gifts of property to one another, provide for the support of one another after they no longer live with one another, or compensate one another for services rendered to the other or in respect of his or her property.

General Release

5. Except for the benefits, rights, and obligations created by this Agreement or received in consideration for entering into this Agreement, and except as to any action to enforce this Agreement, each party releases, relinquishes, disclaims, and forever surrenders and discharges the other party and his or her heirs, executors, administrators, assigns, property and estate, from any and all rights, remedies, claims, demands, causes of action, and obligations, regardless of whether such interests are known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, or legal or equitable. Such interests may include, but are not limited to, any claims with regard to the other party's property; any claims with reference to homestead, dower, curtesy, inheritance, family allowance as an heir or as a putative spouse, letters of administration, descent, or distribution; any claims for alimony, support, or maintenance; any claims for attorneys' fees, costs, and suit money; any present claims or future claims that arise out of the relationship, oral promises, or representations made by either party to the other that are not reduced to writing, including services rendered to the other party or with regard to his or her property; and any and all expectations that may arise from any or all of the foregoing claims. The parties understand and agree that, except as otherwise provided for in this Agreement, each party is forever barred from having or asserting any such right, claim, demand, or obligation at any time after the execution of this Agreement for any purpose, except as provided in any valid will or codicil of either party that is executed or republished after the effective date of this Agreement. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the parties intend that this Agreement shall constitute a full and final accord and satisfaction of all claims that each may have or may subsequently be deemed to have against the other.

Separate Property Accumulated Prior to Cohabitation Period

6. The parties hereby agree and acknowledge that the property set forth in Exhibit A, attached hereto, is the sole and separate property of DAVID, and the property set forth in Exhibit B, attached hereto, is the sole and separate property of MARTHA. Both parties understand and acknowledge that the property listed in Exhibits A and B may or may not represent all of the property of the parties; that each may have intentionally, negligently, or inadvertently omitted assets from said exhibits; and that neither party has any obligation to list or disclose all of his or her assets. MARTHA acknowledges that he/she has no right, interest or expectation to share in any of the property in Exhibit A, or any other property of DAVID acquired prior to the effective date hereof. To the extent that MARTHA has any such right or interest in any of the property listed in Exhibit A or in any other property of DAVID acquired by him/her prior to cohabitation, he/she hereby waives such right, and the right shall be deemed extinguished. DAVID acknowledges that he/she has no right, interest or expectation to share in any of the property of MARTHA listed in Exhibit B, or in any other property of MARTHA acquired prior to the effective date hereof. To the extent that DAVID has any such right or interest in any of the property listed in Exhibit B or in any other property of MARTHA acquired prior to cohabitation, he/she hereby waives such right, and the right shall be deemed extinguished.

Compensation for Services Rendered

7. Each party acknowledges that, prior to the date on which this Agreement is made, neither party has rendered valuable services to the other with the expectation of compensation (except insofar as payment has already been made). To the extent that any claim for compensation for services rendered exists, that claim or right is hereby waived, and the right shall be deemed extinguished.

8. The parties contemplate that during the course of their relationship, each may render valuable services to the other, or with respect to his or her property. Both parties agree that such services may be rendered out of love and affection, or out of the desire to make the relationship work, or as a division of the responsibilities attendant on any cohabitation arrangement. However, both parties agree that, unless they consent in writing to the contrary, such services will not be rendered with the expectation of compensation, and neither party has or will make any claim or maintain any action against the other for compensation for such services. For purposes of this paragraph, any actual payment made by one party to the other for services rendered shall be deemed equivalent to a writing that evidences an agreement for compensation for services rendered to the extent of the payments actually made, but neither party shall be entitled to maintain an action for all or any portion of an unexecuted promise to pay compensation for services rendered.

Earnings and Property Accumulations During Cohabitation Period

9. Each party agrees that the earnings and property accumulations of the other, however accumulated, including but not limited to, earnings and property accumulations resulting from his or her personal services, skill, effort, talent, or work, during the cohabitation period shall belong solely to the other and shall be his or her separate property. The parties agree that this shall be true even if one party, by virtue of the relationship, services rendered, or otherwise, assists the other in his earnings or property accumulations. Each party agrees not to maintain any action or to assert any claim against the earnings and property accumulations of the other. To the extent that a claim by either party now exists against the earnings or property accumulations of the other, that claim is hereby waived, and the claim shall be deemed extinguished.

Waiver of Right to Support and Other Rights

10. Notwithstanding the fact that the parties may have provided or will provide one another voluntarily with support or maintenance during the cohabitation period, such conduct shall not be construed as an agreement, either express, implied, or otherwise, to provide the other with support or maintenance after the relationship has terminated. The parties hereby waive and relinquish all rights and remedies, whether legal or equitable, to maintenance, support, or other rights or remedies, including, but not limited to, monies for rehabilitation, in the event their relationship terminates, regardless of which party terminates such relationship.

Property Acquired by Gift, Bequest, Devise, or Descent

11. The parties agree that any property acquired by the other, whether by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, shall be and remain the sole and separate property of the acquiring party. In no way shall the fact that the parties commingle such property or any other property with the property of the other affect the ultimate disposition of said property on termination of the relationship, except as stated in an agreement in writing signed by both parties hereto. In the event that property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent is acquired or received jointly by both parties, such property shall be deemed to be owned by the parties in equal shares as tenants in common unless otherwise specified by the donor.

Joint Bank Account

12. The parties shall open one joint checking account for the sole purpose of paying small incidental household expenses, including, but not limited to, food, household cleaning, laundry, utilities, home mortgage, property taxes, and gardening. DAVID will deposit funds monthly into the joint checking account. MARTHA need not make any contribution to this account. In the event that MARTHA voluntarily makes a contribution for any reason, MARTHA waives and releases any right to reimbursement therefor. The opening of this joint account shall not be construed as a commingling of funds; rather, this account is opened solely for the purposes described in this paragraph.

Jointly Purchased Property

13. The parties contemplate that from time to time it may be necessary and convenient to buy property, whether real or personal, with the combined separate funds of each party. Prior to or concurrently with the purchase or acquisition of such property, the parties will prepare a separate written agreement to cover each item of property acquired in this manner. Such agreements shall be attached to this Agreement, and shall be marked as exhibits, and shall be deemed incorporated in this Agreement by reference. Each such agreement shall contain a provision provid ing for the ultimate disposition of the property on termination of the relationship. In the event the parties fail to prepare or attach an agreement, or both, that concerns the jointly acquired property, the property shall be deemed owned by the parties as tenants in common in the proportion that the deed, bill of sale, or other evidence of title provides. However, if there is no deed, bill of sale, or other evidence of title, then the property shall be owned by the parties as tenants in common in the proportion that the cash contribution of each bears to the total cash contribution made by both parties. On termination of the relationship, such property shall be divided in accordance with the written agreement that relates hereto. If there is no agreement, the property shall be sold and the proceeds divided in the proportion of the ownership specified in the deed, bill of sale, or other evidence of title. If there is no deed, bill of sale, or other evidence of title, then it shall be divided in proportion to the respective cash contributions of each party.

Effective Date

14. The effective date of this Agreement shall be on the day of the date of execution. The date of execution is deemed the date on which the last party signs this Agreement.

Termination

15. Either party may terminate this cohabitation agreement by giving the other party thirty (30) days' written notice of the intention to terminate. However, in the event the parties cease to cohabit, they may terminate this Agreement without written notice. On termination of this Agreement, each party shall take possession of his or her separate property. Any jointly held property will be divided in accordance with this or any subsequent written agreement governing the disposition of such property. On written notice of termination by either party, DAVID agrees to move promptly from the residence in which the parties are residing, but in no event later than thirty (30) days from the date of such notice. In the event that DAVID fails to move all of his/her possessions and belongings from the residence, MARTHA shall have the right to place all or any part of said property in storage at the expense of DAVID.

COHABITATION AGREEMENT -- see http://riskmgmt.biz/cohabit.htm for complete text.

Dr. Michael A. S. Guth, Ph.D., J.D., is a practicing attorney at law based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. His law practice emphasizes helping people represent themselves pro se (without a lawyer) by providing limited assistance to draft and research legal documents and court pleadings that they can file. For more information on this relatively unique law practice, please see http://riskmgmt.biz/prose.htm and http://riskmgmt.biz/samplepleadings.htm/a>

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