The law affecting unmarried couples differs to the law protecting the rights of married couples or civil partners.
Very few think about the legal issues surrounding their living arrangements, and often assume that they are protected by so called “common law” rights.
If the relationship subsequently unravels, the cost of court litigation can be daunting.
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 each individual intended at the outset, as to their respective ownership of property, and what they each intend to happen in the future. Cohabitation Agreements are especially useful for couples who are entering into a new relationship after the collapse of a previous relationship or marriage, or for those who own more assets than their new partner.
Cohabitation Agreements can clarify:
- Respective ownership of property.
- Who pays the mortgage and other household outgoings?
- Who pays for improvements to the property and how does this impact on their respective shares?
- In the event that one party pays a lump sum towards reducing the mortgage, how will this impact on the parties’ respective shares?
- In the event of a sale or “buy out”, what will happen?
- In the event that one party leaves the property, who pays for the mortgage and household outgoings?
- In the event of death of one of the parties, and there is a life policy supporting the mortgage, how should the proceeds from that life policy be allocated?
- Financial support post-separation.
- How will the parties contribute to the joint account?
- Respective liability for overdrafts, credit card debts, and other liabilities.
- Ownership and respective funding and responsibility for cars.
- Ownership of personal property, gifts, and property acquired during the relationship
- What are the terms of the parties’ Wills?
- Will there be nominations as regards death in service benefits?
It is essential that those entering into Cohabitation Agreements do so of their own free will. Each must obtain independent legal advice on the terms of the Cohabitation Agreement. There also needs to be full disclosure of financial documentation to each other.
For more information about the services we provide and how we can assist you please visit our family law page.
How We Can Help
A member of our specialist team will be happy to help.
To discuss Cohabitation Agreements issues, please either use the contact form on the right, email us at email@example.com or call us today on +44(0)161 941 4000 to speak to a member of our team.