A cohabitation agreement is the best way to protect your assets.

Thank you again for helping me through a very difficult, but ultimately positive, life event. I’ve really valued your impeccable professionalism and your empathetic support throughout.

– Client

What Is A Living Together Agreement?

Unmarried couples who live together are known in law as cohabitating couples. Despite the popularity of cohabitating couples, the law unfortunately does not offer them the same legal rights as married couples.

It is a common misconception that unmarried couples have the same financial rights against each other on the breakdown of the relationship as married or civil partnered couples do. Sadly, the term “common law spouse” is a myth.

For this reason, it is important to consider what is right for you. A cohabitation agreement can provide peace of mind and security for your future.

How Can A Cohabitation Agreement Help?

The best way to protect your property when in a cohabiting relationship is to enter into a cohabitation agreement.

This documents in clear terms how you have agreed property is owned and should be divided if the relationship were to break down.

Cohabitation agreements are legally binding and enforceable and provide peace of mind and security for the future.

They can be entered into at any time, but the best protection is to have one in place before you move in with your partner.

While a cohabitation agreement involves an additional expense and could be awkward to discuss with a partner, we have seen how they save a great deal of money and unhappiness if a relationship breaks down.

It can ensure that your current wishes are properly reflected, providing protection in the event of a separation.

This is vital if you are purchasing a property in joint names and contributing unequally to the purchase costs, but also important if one of you is purchasing the property in your sole name and the other partner is living there.

Without a Cohabitation Agreement, there is a risk that the partner may claim an interest in the property into which he or she has moved without making any financial contribution.

This can lead to costly and lengthy litigation to resolve, and, ultimately, if the partner’s claim is borne out, it could lead to the property being sold and them receiving a share of its value.

What Are The Benefits Of Having A Cohabitation Agreement?

Our clients enter into cohabitation agreements in order to provide the following:

  • Clarification as to how their financial affairs are conducted during the relationship.
  • Certainty as to what their financial interests and claims against the other person will be in the event of the breakdown of the relationship.
  • To protect and preserve assets built up, inherited, or gifted prior to a cohabiting relationship and to ensure those are ringfenced from any future claim in the event of the breakdown of the relationship.

FAQs: Unmarried Couples

Do unmarried couples who live together have the same legal rights as married couples?
What is a ‘common law husband/wife?’
What happens to our home if we split?
Does my partner have rights to my property that is in my sole name?
I do not want to marry my partner, what can I do to protect myself?
Is making a will important?
Can I get any money to help look after the children after the relationship?

Navigating A Relationship Breakdown

Relationship breakdown can be devastating, whatever your family matrix, but when combined with a legal framework that is difficult to navigate, we find many people need clear and compassionate legal support.

Our advice to those facing a relationship breakdown is clear and independent and based on the many years of experience that our cohabitation agreement solicitors have in dealing with cases involving children, families, and the law.

If there are children involved then we will help you focus on what is best for them. If there are financial matters to be resolved, we will help you reach an amicable and fair agreement.

Our friendly team of cohabitation agreement solicitors is very experienced in advising those living together about cohabitation agreements or the consequences of a separation.

We pride ourselves on our care and support.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

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