Prenups aren’t just for married people anymore. As more and more young couples move in with each other, many are hashing out dating prenups, legally known as cohabitation agreements or “cohabs” to sort out who gets what in the event of a breakup. “The divorce rate is so high” that people are “just petrified of getting married,” explains one lawyer, who says he’s been getting more and more calls about cohabs.
“I find it really, really freeing that we can talk about stuff like this,” says one man, who recently struck a custody pact with his girlfriend for their dog. Some cohabs are actually written by a lawyer, but others are written informally; even an email exchange can serve as a binding contract. One lawyer says to get legal help only if your possessions are valuable. “If you have nothing, you can split nothing both ways.” (Read more dating stories.)