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What to include in a life partnership agreement

The agreement provides for what happens if the relationship ends

1. Your home
a. Is it jointly or solely owned?  If it is co-owned, then nothing happens on termination of the relationship: each party retains his or her share;

b. If only one party owns it, provide for whether or not the owner must reimburse the non-owner for improvements done to the property at his or her expense. These must be recorded and vouched;

c.  If the common home is leased, the contract should provide for what happens after termination of the relationship: who must leave? Presumably, the person that stays must pay the rent for the unexpired portion of the lease? Will the landlord release the other party if they both signed the lease?

2. Your movables
a. Set out who brought what items into the life partnership (in an annexure) and how these household goods should be allocated on termination.

b. Provide the basis for acquiring assets during the relationship and how to share the spoils after the event.

3.  Your financial matters
Regulate who contributes to running expenses, the purchase of household necessary use, groceries, etc. Do you open a joint account for that purpose?  What happens to debt, cars, etc, if the relationship ends?

4. Children
Do you have or intend to have children? Must one life partner 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?

5. Maintenance
If applicable, provide for rehabilitative maintenance for the stay-at-home partner (to equip him or her to acquire marketable skills or become self-supporting).

6. Sundry
How should you deal with personal property, gifts, donations, credit agreements,  ownership or provision of motor cars, debts (credit cards, etc), life insurance by parties for each other, pensions, wills.

7. Termination
Provide for death, marriage of parties to each other, or going your separate ways.

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Email: info@bmalaw.co.za

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