Cohabitation Agreement Solicitors
Cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights as a married couple. If you get married or enter into a civil partnership, it will be assumed that you intend to start sharing your property and assets with your other half. This does not apply if you live together in an unmarried relationship. However, you can agree to set out your intentions by entering into a cohabitation agreement.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a legal document which protects each party’s property and other assets during their relationship and on its breakdown. It’s for unmarried couples who are living together and who wish to formally record their respective positions in terms of property and assets they own in their sole name or in joint names.
Although we recommend that couples enter into a cohabitation agreement at the time they start living together, i.e. when buying a house, it can be drafted at any point. You should also make a Will.
Why do I need a Cohabitation Agreement?
The law does not protect unmarried couples the same way that it does married couples or those in a civil partnership. When you add in property or other assets to a relationship, no matter how strong you think your relationship is, if it does end, things can get incredibly complicated if you have not legally protected what you own.
For example, unmarried couples who have separate bank accounts do not have the right to access the money in the other’s account. Also, there is no right to the other party’s pension or life insurance policies if they die; this is particularly important to consider if you have a family to support and a mortgage to pay.
Cohabitation agreements can be recognised by the courts as the best way to record each party’s intentions. By drawing up a cohabitation agreement with a specialist family solicitor, you can ensure you are both adequately covered and protected should the relationship break down.
How our cohabitation agreement solicitors can help
Our specialist solicitors can draft a cohabitation agreement which offers protection and clear instructions regarding joint property and assets, as well as reassurance in relation to childcare arrangements.
Our cohabitation lawyers will discuss your current situation with you, and talk through your requirements, making suggestions where appropriate, before drafting your agreement.
We will then provide you with a draft cohabitation agreement and a letter of advice explaining each section. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and/or suggest further amendments before we send a draft to your partner for approval. It’s important that your partner seeks legal advice too, to ensure both your interests are accurately recorded and protected. When the cohabitation agreement is agreed by both cohabiting partners, you will both sign the document.
Our solicitors can amend your agreements at a later date, should your circumstances change, i.e. you have children together or purchase a second property.