As the number of cohabiting couples continues to rise and the number of children living with unmarried parents has become commonplace, few appreciate the need for a formal agreement. Unmarried couples have different legal rights to married couples if they separate and if the relationship breaks down, there is less protection for the weaker partner.
As with pre-nuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements are designed to
protect the assets of couples who decide to live together. Many people assume that if they cohabit, they become ‘common-law husband or wife’ and have the same protection as couples who marry, but this simply isn’t the case. There’s no such thing as a common-law husband or wife and there are fewer safeguards in place when it comes to the division of property or assets.
Our expert team of Family Law solicitors can help you to draw up a cohabitation agreement, outlining exactly who owns what and how. Cohabitation agreements can be as brief or as in-depth as you need them to be. For instance it could simply outline who owns what percentage of the property or whether payments towards the mortgage entitle a partner to a share of the property even if their name is not on the deeds. Alternatively, it could detail how every asset is to be divided and what will happen in terms of maintenance and care if you have children.