Here’s how to keep the relationship alive, with contracts.
By Nicole Weaver and Michelle Toglia — Last updated on Aug 29, 2023
Photo: Krakenimages.com | Shutterstock
Have you ever wondered if a relationship contract makes sense for your relationship?
While laying out rules and guidelines in your relationship isn’t exactly romantic, 62 percent of divorce attorneys say that they see an increase in prenuptial agreements.
Prenups aren’t the only relationship contracts couples should abide by. We gathered 5 new relationship contract ideas for married or unmarried couples that you might want to consider.
Here are 5 genius relationship contract ideas that could benefit even the strongest couples:
1. Cohabitation agreement
So you’re ready to move in together but not quite ready to say “I do.” You may think you’re being smart by taking one step at a time, but in the end, married couples get a lot more rights in a breakup than unmarried ones.
In order to protect yourself in case the situation doesn’t work out as planned, you can make a cohabitation agreement. This agreement explains who owns what, and who gets what if you break up, and can even include how you will deal with child support, bank accounts, debt, health insurance coverage, joint purchases, and more.
2. Social media agreements
Posted a picture of your significant other sleeping with his mouth wide open on Facebook? It may not only result in a screaming fight — it could end up costing you.
According to Mashable, as people are trying to protect their personal and professional image online, social media agreements are working their way into prenups and standalone agreements between couples. As for the standards? You can set the punishments, which for each couple will certainly vary. Date night at the ballet, it is!
3. Pre-pregnancy contract
A Slate piece covered this new mutual agreement about how to share child-rearing responsibilities before the baby is born.
How will you be dividing up the night shift? Will the chores now be split up differently? Do you both agree on how long one parent will be taking off from work? What will childcare look like?
These are all things that are better to talk about before the baby comes to relieve some of the stress. No, not everything will go perfectly to plan, but it will help avoid someone resenting the other because he or she feels they are taking on more of the work.
4. A relationship agreement
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan had a relationship agreement before getting married. Since Mark is a busy man running Facebook and all, Priscilla made sure to include “one date per week, a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time, not in his apartment and definitely not at Facebook” in the contract.
The last thing people associate contracts with is romance, but this is a way to actually make sure the romance will continue in a relationship between two busy people.
Of course, you can include anything else in your contract that you feel you need to be satisfied in your relationship. Does anyone want the other to cut off any exes or toxic people in his or her life? How often do you expect to have a girl’s or boy’s night away?
According to The Daily Mail, attorneys say contracts that detail how often couples will be intimate are on the rise.
5. Pet ownership agreement
This agreement covers the custody of pets you may share. This can either be included in your cohabitation agreement or be its own separate contract.
If you’re living together and decide to buy a pet then it’s important to talk about how custody would go down if you end up splitting up. Will you try to share custody? Will only one person get custody? This is a hard decision to make, but you’ll be grateful for getting something in writing if a nasty breakup does happen.
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Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more. Michelle Toglia is the Executive Editor at Elite Daily, overseeing the site’s entertainment, news, style, dating, and experiences coverage.