If you and your partner live together you should consider drafting a life partnership agreement to protect yourselves should your relationship come to an end.
These are some of the issues that should be included in the agreement:
· An equitable division of property (fixed and movable);
· If the common home is co-owned, deal with the shares in the agreement and how the property will be dealt with on dissolution (i.e. will it be sold or will one party buy the other out);
· If the common home is solely owned by one of the partners, the life partners might wish to expressly arrange reimbursement for the non-owner for improvements done to the property at his or her expense.
· If you lease your home, provide for who leavesafter termination of the relationship.
· Provide a procedure for the division of household goods. A document listing private property owned at the inception of the relationship should be attached (excluding such property from division) and goods bought jointly during the relationship should be sold / shared on an agreed basis.
· Provide for the regulation of financial matters during the partnership (who contributes to what and in what proportions?).
· Do the partners have or intend to have children. Check whether one life partner is to support the other party during the relationship if such a partner is unemployed or staying home to care for small children born from the relationship.
· If the parties agree that mom will stay home to care for the kids, provide for her maintenance arrangements if the parties go their separate ways. This maintenance should be rehabilitative in nature, and for a specified period giving mom time to acquire marketable skills or become self supportive.
· Provide for the following:
Ø personal property;
Ø credit agreements;
Ø ownership or provision of motor cars;
Ø debts: joint and several liability regulated as between the parties;
Ø provision of life insurance by parties for each other;
Ø arrangements for living expenses;
Ø provision on death (make a will separately);
· Provide for terminationin the event of death of one party, marriage of parties to each other, separation, agreement to terminate or vary;
· Transitional provisions for joint finance and property on termination and separation.