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Polyamory for the Practical

Property Contract

Poly people can protect their property, believe it or not. While a marriage is not valid among more than two people, a property sharing contract is. Notice the wording of this contract says nothing about the relationships of the people, other than the fact that they live under the same roof. This contract is designed to deal with personal property. (As a lawyer friend of mine once put it, "Personal property is anything that is not nailed down."). This is nothing to do with real estate, or anything like that mind. This is about jewelry, CDs, furniture and your special set of kitchen knives. It also has a provision for things the group might purchase together.

Property Sharing Agreement

We the parties: (full legal name), (full legal name), (full legal name), and (full legal name)

Whereas : We live at (full physical address),

Whereas : We previously, individually owned property,

Whereas : We now share our property at (full physical address),

In the event that we no longer reside together, individually or as a group, personal property will be dispersed in accordance with the enclosed exhibits provided by each party,

Any joint property will be sold and the proceeds distributed to those parties who originally purchased the property,

The joint property is listed in accordance with the attached exhibit. (This exhibit should have the signatures of all people who have entered into this agreement).

The parties further agree to update these exhibits at a minimum of each year beginning on (date of contract written out in full, i.e. January 1, 2002).

In the event of an unresolved dispute, all parties agree to binding arbitration.

(full legal name typed, signature above)

(full legal name typed, signature above)

(full legal name typed, signature above)

(full legal name typed, signature above)

(notary name/seal)

So, what does this mean in English?

You state that you live together. You state that you agree that you're going to share property while you're living together. In case you split up, you agree how personal property will be dispersed, and you make a provision to update this list at least once a year so that the property list is current. I also recommend that you update this list each time you add a person to the household.

Have an exhibit for each member's property. Make sure everyone signs each exhibit. It is a good idea to take pictures of property and include this in each exhibit.

Be careful to be very accurate with this. Note that there is a clause that says that if there is a disagreement, things are not going to go on and on with a drawn out appeal process. If you go to court, you're going to go once and you agree to accept whatever the judge says. If you keep this current and accurate, no biggie, as things will be spelled out clearly.

I know it seems kind of unromantic, but I strongly encourage you to do it anyway if you are considering living together. Remember, you're not afforded property protections that you might have if you were married, so if you don't do this, you're left out in the cold if there is a problem.

I've included a fillable form that you can download if you click here . You have to be using Microsoft Word to use it, however. All you do is click on the gray areas, and type in the necessary information, then print it out and get it signed. For ease of update, you can save this by just clicking File, then Save As, then naming it whatever you like.

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