Lovers and Other Roommates

You are splitters. Each handles personal expenses and you work out a system for paying joint bills included car title pawn. A 50/50 split is fair only if your incomes are roughly equal. If one of you earns two-thirds of your combined income, that person should assume two-thirds of the rent and two third of the grocery bills. Otherwise, the one with the smaller paycheck is subsidizing the other. If there is going to be any subsidy at all, it should be from the richer to the poorer, not the other way around.

Long time lovers drift toward pooling some of their money. Still, you often live on the tips of your toes, almost ready to run. So for property that is hard to unwind, separate ownership is best. If you buy a piece of real estate together, do it as tenants in common. Write an agreement for sharing expenses: how you will divide the taxes, insurance, and mortgage payments. What happens if one person quits paying his or her share? If the relationship fails, how will you get your money out? Will you put the house on the market and divide the proceeds according to the percentage each person put up? Will one person buy the other out and if so, which? How will you determine the price? A lawyer should draw up these agreements (preferably two lawyers, one of each of you). You will never think of all the contingencies yourself. You should also have the contractual right to force the sale of the house if you are having to shoulder more of the cost than you bargained for.

I one of you dies, will his or her share be willed to the other or would a written contract be a safer choice (remember that minds, and wills, can change)?

Ever since the Lee Marvin case in 1979, which raised the possibility of suing for “palimony,” that issue has hung over live in relationships. If, say, the man works and the woman gives up her job to follow him, does she have a right to support if they fall out? Should one partner get some of the money that the other accumulated during their relationship? Denver attorney William Cantwell has been thinking about this problem for a while and offers you his “Wallet Card NonMarvinizing Agreement,” to be signed by both parties at car title pawn Atlanta.