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Jeanne M. Hannah

Hello Diane,

Your friend's premarital interest in real estate is not affected by cohabitation with a woman. Cohabitation alone doesn't give her any right to a share of his real estate.

But if they marry, unless he protects his real estate with a prenuptial agreement, he may have to later fight a claim that she contributed to appreciation and that the real estate is joint property.

There are a series of articles about prenuptial agreements on this blog. Click on the Prenup | Postnup Category on the right hand column. Also see my website on the Practice Areas page for an article about prenups and postnups.

There are several important things to remember about prenups. They should be entered into many weeks before a marriage to avoid a claim of pressure or coercion. Also to avoid a claim on fraud, a rather detailed list of what each party owns should be attached. In addition, the party who did not hire an attorney to draft the prenup should have her own attorney or waive the right to have an attorney.


Diane Bradford

Thank you for taking me comment and question.
A friend of mine lives in Michigan and owns a home and land on his own. He has been living with a woman for about 6 months and between the two, they are deciding to marry. My question, although he is in his late 40's and that does not matter, but does matter is that he has his home and land belonging to HIMSELF and now that he is getting ready to marry this woman that he has only been living with for 6 months......HOW CAN HE PROTECT HIS PROPERTY BEFORE HE MARRIES THIS WOMAN? Michigan Law: does living with someone for 6 months or more constitute ownership....I think Michigan does not have a domestic law that says this.....??? Also, if they marry, can the man who owns all his property prepare a document "PRE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT" in order to keep his property his own in case this marriage goes sour in divorce???

Please let me know as we as parents and grandparents live to keep our loved ones safe. God Bless

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