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About Stutzke Law LLC.

Stutzke Law is a boutique family, employment, estate planning, and commercial litigation practice with dual offices located in Parlin and Freehold, New Jersey.

Here at Stutzke Law, your problems become our problems. It’s not about us - it’s about you. We understand that losing a business, a job or a marriage is quite possibly one of the most devastating and demanding times in a person's life. To that end, we strive to be sensitive to the financial and emotional needs of each and every one of our clients.

We more than prepared to see you through these tough times as not only a counselor but as a close friend and an equal. We are very protective of our clients' rights, and work hard to achieve optimal settlement packages for them. But when necessary, we litigate aggressively to protect our clients' interests.

Contact our office today to arrange a free consultation. (732) 952-2903 – Stutzke Law, LLC has Greek and Spanish translators on site. Please let us know if you require translation services for your free initial consultation!

When Swedish Meatballs Go Sour – Why You Need a Cohabitation Agreement

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Ah, love. In today’s world, it usually begins with a mutual right swipe on Tinder or an E-Harmony match notification, assuming the latter site didn’t reject your profile. After a few dates, typically revolving around drinks and/or overpriced appetizers, comes a declaration of exclusivity. Then arrives the U-HAUL, which, for all intents and purposes, means that IT (Ahem) JUST GOT REAL.

The single life graciously lends itself to one’s self, and not much else. The decision to finally take that long walk down the aisles of IKEA with someone other than your freshman college roommate is a watershed moment. The consequences of your choices, actions and omissions are no longer confined to your domestic shorthair, but extend to your significant other, and, more importantly, the viability of the domestic ecosystem itself.

For this reason, I wholeheartedly recommend cohabitation agreements. Simply stated, a cohabitation agreement is a written document wherein two lovebirds and soon-to-be roommates outline their financial, practical and other expectations for one another throughout the course of their pre-marital or, depending on their future plans, perpetual co-habitancy.

What types of issues will a cohabitation agreement address? Obviously, who signs the lease for that pricey $2300 a month pad in Hoboken? Assuming only one party signs the same – for whatever reason – what is that party’s financial responsibility to the signing party for roof costs? Should each party be responsible “even Steven” or on a pro rata basis as per their incomes? What if one party owns the townhouse where the other is moving into? Is it fair to expect the moving party to contribute to the mortgage, and, hence, the other’s (presently) solo investment? Will each party pool a share of their income into a joint bank account, or will each pay their assigned bills directly to the service provider? How will the potential untimely demise of the joint venture be handled?

Even the smaller, day-to-day issues may be fleshed out. After all, if the goal is to establish clarity and expectation at the outset, why sidestep issues of cat litter maintenance, Netflix v. Platinum cable, or whether you will be expected to contribute to your partner’s Whole Foods shopping cart full of pricey, gluten-free, organic foodstuffs which you deem inedible for human consumption? What about guidelines for personal space and “alone time”? Does your partner understand that those two hours dedicated to your Pinterest project or playing World of Warcraft are essential to your personal sanity?

Regardless of how much or little detail you would prefer going into, a cohabitation agreement can only help your cause. The process of simply sitting down with your partner and hashing through the logistics of the planned household operation is an excellent exercise in teamwork and collective, mature decision-making.

As we all know, however, there must be a reason that U-Haul hands out free refrigerator magnets with its phone number on them. Should you eventually find yourself summoning U-Haul for a return trip from whence you came, you need not take the time and energy to create a “Dear John” note; rather, you can leave a copy of the cohabitation agreement on top of the IKEA kitchen table YOU singlehandedly put together – next to a bowl of cold Swedish meatballs.

The Stutzke Law philosophy is that trust is the bedrock of all successful attorney-client relationships. At The offices of Stutzke Law your problems become our problems. We understand that losing a business, job or a marriage is quite possibly one of the most devastating and demanding times in a person's life. To that end, we strive to be sensitive to the financial and emotional needs of each and every one of our clients. We are more than prepared to see you through these tough times as not only a counselor but as a close friend. Working from a framework of mutual trust, communication, and cooperation, it is our prerogative to handle your case in a responsive, thorough and dedicated manner from start to finish.
Amy Stutzke
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Amys website
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