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Read more articles in: Blog, Family, Family Law, Stuart Daniel

Could a cohabitation agreement work for your relationship?

Marriage is not for everybody, so what can couples do to legally clarify who owns what and their responsibilities to each other?

A cohabitation agreement could be the answer for unmarried couples or those not in a civil partnership who live together.

The agreement, sometimes called a living together agreement, sets out ownership of existing assets, the financial responsibilities of each partner and how jointly owned assets will be divided in the event of the couple splitting up.

It is a legal document which is enforceable by the court provided both partners have been honest about their financial affairs and have both received separate legal advice.

What can the agreement cover?

The agreement sets out what each partner owns and in what proportion. It may differ from couple to couple, but the agreement can cover issues such as:

  • Property ownership
  • The share of the mortgage/rent/bills each person pays
  • Possessions such as cars and furniture
  • Bank accounts
  • Payment of debts

Think about property

Property ownership in the event of separation can be a thorny issue to consider. For example, if one person owns the property but the other partner contributes to the mortgage and renovation work, then they may have a claim to the property.

If both partners are named as joint owners, then they are both legally entitled to stay in the property in the event of a breakup.

A cohabitation agreement helps to outline what happens in these situations so both partners understand where they stand.

Why should couples consider getting an agreement?

Ultimately a cohabitation agreement can give reassurance to both partners, so they have a firm understanding of their financial arrangements and helps to avoid extra difficulties in the event of a breakup.

Are you looking for advice on cohabitation agreements? For help and advice on family and relationship matters, contact our expert team today.

Mander Hadley

Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.