LOVE PACT: A Layman's Complete Guide to Legal Living Together Agreements by Bernard E. & Anthony R. Daniele Clair

LOVE PACT: A Layman's Complete Guide to Legal Living Together Agreements

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Breaking up is hard enough without adding self-imposed angst over who gets the big green sofa, the pet schnauzer, or the income from those utility bonds. For unmarried couples who part, the practical problems of disentangling two lives are fraught with uncertainty, since court decisions on the property and support rights of former cohabitants vary widely from state to state. New York City lawyers Clair and Daniele summarize the relevant (and inconsistent) case law--explaining the actual significance of the Marvin case, shorn of media hype--as support for their argument that the best way of avoiding friction is to sign a detailed ""living together agreement"" at the outset of the relationship. A typical LTA, the authors suggest, should cover the partners' understanding on issues of property ownership (separate vs. pooled; problems of mutual gifts and liability on leases); income (shared or segregated; tax implications; etc.); compensation for household services and the question of post-relationship support; liability for each other's debts; and support and custody of children. Clair and Daniele manage to strike a good balance between a pure do-it-yourself manual--the book comes complete with a model LTA, numerous optional clauses, and a thorough discussion of the purpose and implications of each--and a study of the state of the law in a changing area. The text is clear and reasonably well-written, and doesn't condescend to non-lawyers or, mirabile dictu, use the term ""palimony."" Maybe working out the mechanics of a buy-sell arrangement for co-owned property does take some of the zip out of new love--but, as Clair and Daniele say, if there is ""the tiniest shred of practicality"" in you, an LTA makes sense. Ask Lee and Michele. A useful book for cohabitants and family lawyers.

Pub Date: June 10th, 1980
Publisher: Grove Press paperback original--dist. by Random House