Our Approach

Often, unmarried couples are unclear about the extent of their legal rights. 

If you are planning on living with or are already living with your partner, you may wish to enter into a Cohabitation Agreement to regulate financial matters whilst you are in a relationship.

Our solicitors will help you make informed choices in resolving practical issues resulting from either a relationship breakdown or advising you on wealth protection issues prior to cohabitation. 

We understand that each client has specific requirements and needs which is why we ensure that we deal with your concerns carefully and with sensitivity. 

If you would like to talk to us, in confidence, about how we can help, please call us on 0161 941 4000, or contact us online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

A cohabitation agreement is a legal agreement between unmarried partners who wish to regulate the terms of their relationship. This can include how you manage your household payments/bills and financial assets.

This could be useful in the event of a break-up, as you will have a record of your intentions at the start of the cohabitation. This may reduce emotional pressures and help you agree on matters fairly and amicably.

More and more, Cohabitation Agreements are being used to provide clarity for unmarried couples wishing to regulate the terms of their relationship. An agreement can provide written evidence of what you intended at the outset, as to your respective ownership of property, and what you each intend to happen in the future.

What can you include in a Cohabitation Agreement?

A Cohabitation Agreement can include agreements on residential property, joint bank accounts, financial assets, children or even pets. You may want to consider some of the following points:

  • Respective ownership of any property
  • In the event of a break-up, who will continue to live in the household
  • Each parties’ contribution to household bills, rent or mortgage
  • Outstanding debts, loans or overdrafts (including liabilities)
  • Savings or existing bank accounts
  • Joint savings that accrue during the relationship
  • Life insurance policies
  • Ownership of joint items such as cars, furniture or sentimental items
  • If you have children, how you will support them financially
  • In the event of a break-up, who will care for any pets

What happens if one party breaches the terms Cohabitation Agreement?

Potentially, you may have a claim for a breach of contract. Additionally, you may have further statutory claims.


Can I update my Cohabitation Agreement?

Yes, a Cohabitation Agreement can be re-drafted at any point, if necessary.

Are Cohabitation Agreements legally binding?

Cohabitation Agreements can be enforced as a contract. If the following criteria are met, the agreement can usually be relied upon in the event of a dispute:

  • Each party receives independent legal advice on the terms of the draft agreement;
  • There is full and frank financial disclosure by each party;
  • Each party must enter into the agreement of their own free will;
  • The terms of the agreement must be fair and reasonable; and
  • The agreement must be made by way of Deed.

If we break up, will I need a separation agreement?

It is not mandatory. However, it is advisable to enter into a Separation Agreement, especially if you are selling your property. A Separation Agreement will record your intentions through to completion of sale.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Jane Tenquist

Jane Tenquist

Jane is a Partner and Head of the Family Law Team

Nichola Bright

Nichola Bright

Nichola is a Senior Associate in our Family Law Team

Sarah Whitelegge

Sarah Whitelegge

Sarah is a Senior Associate in our Family Law Team

Rachel Forster

Rachel Forster

Rachel is a Solicitor in our Family Law Team


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