You Can't Protect Yourself

Melissa and her boyfriend had a baby last year. He's thinking about purchasing a house. Is there a way Melissa can legally protect herself?

QUESTION: Melissa in Los Angeles and her boyfriend had a baby last year. He’s thinking about purchasing a house. Is there a way Melissa can legally protect herself? He doesn’t want to get married. Dave tells Melissa there’s no way to protect herself here.

ANSWER: He’s real sure that he wants you to live with him and have babies with him, but he’s not real sure he wants to keep doing that. You’re right—it doesn’t make sense. If I’m you, I think this is a “define the relationship” moment. It’s kind of late into the process here, but I think this is an opportunity for you to do that. And no, you can’t protect yourself. You’ve got palimony stuff and the laws that apply to shacking up. You being on this mortgage, you being on this lease and then him taking off and he owns it with you and you can’t find him? That’s a disaster.

The best protection of all is to have no protection so you’re free as a bird or to have the total protection of marriage. That’s your best legal protection. I am not a lawyer, so you could ask one to be sure, but that’s my view of it.

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