Many co-habiting couples do not realise that if their relationship breaks down, or one of them dies, they are not afforded the same legal protection as if they had been married. This is so even if they have been living together for a long time or have children. The concept of the ‘common law’ wife is a myth.
Our expert team of Family Law specialists can advise on how best to protect yourself and your family in the event of a relationship breakdown or the death of you or your partner.
We will consider issues relating to your co-ownership of property. Many couples do not appreciate that if the family home is in one party’s sole name that party can require the other to leave at any time and, on death, the property will, in the absence of a valid will, pass to the deceased’ next of kin, who could be an existing spouse, a minor child or a distant/estranged relative.
We will consider whether you and/or your partner need to make wills.
We will also consider the benefits of a Cohabitation Agreement (also known as a Living Together Agreement) which has legal effect and which can define your and your partner’s rights and obligations.
A Cohabitation Agreement can be used to make clear the ownership of assets, evidence parental or third party contribution, identify responsibility for debts and remove conflict in the event of a relationship breakdown. This is particularly important in high asset cases where the costs of litigation can be astronomical and the outcome uncertain, depending on evidence of things said many years past. If you have children or personal wealth to protect, including business interests or investments and property, a Cohabitation Agreement can help safeguard them for the future.
Our expert team of lawyers will draft a bespoke Cohabitation Agreement tailored to your own situation which protects your assets against separation or unexpected bereavement.