Cohabitation

Primary tabs

Cohabitation is used primarily to denote the arrangement between two individuals who live together, either as spouses or unmarried partners. 

Some common uses of the term “cohabitation” in a legal sense include:

1. Cohabitation in the context of marriage as explained in cases such as this one from California, means the “mutual assumption of marital rights, duties and obligations which are manifested by married people, including but not limited to sexual relations.”

2. Cohabitation in the context of termination of alimony as explained in this case from Pennsylvania, requires a showing of financial, social and sexual interdependence between two people, by living in the same residence or by other means; however, infrequent sexual association does not constitute cohabitation. 

3. Cohabitation agreement is a contract explaining the property and financial arrangement between people who live together. 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]