Cohabitation has become a common way of living together as a couple. This can include living together, sharing finances and having children. Despite living as a married couple, you are treated very differently in the law.
What is a cohabitation agreement?
A cohabitation agreement is a written agreement which sets out how the couple’s cohabitation should proceed and what would happen should their relationship break down
The Heald family team can help you tailor these to you and your partner. Some examples of things couples wish to include in their cohabitation agreement are as follows:
- Who owns what when the agreement is signed;
- How the finances are to be conducting whilst living together;
- Whether the cohabitation agreement is to be reviewed at any point;
- How the income, assets, debts and property should be divided should your relationship end; and
- What happens to your current or future children in the event your relationship ends.
Each cohabitation agreement is different. We can work with you and advise on areas where you might need protection and flag up some issues you may not have considered.
When should a cohabitation agreement be made?
A cohabitation agreement can be made at any time; either before you live together or after.
We can help you to negotiate this agreement and draft it clearly in a format which the court will understand and value.
Why do couples make cohabitation agreements?
As above, unmarried couples are treated differently by law and will not necessarily have the same rights or rules. There is actually no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’.
An unmarried couple can live together for years, but on breaking up, neither party has any automatic right to property or money belonging to the other.
Some couples also find that discussing cohabitation agreements allows them to realistically approach how they intend to live together financially.
This information is designed to be neutral and will be given to everyone to whom it is relevant. It is not designed to replace detailed legal advice tailored to your particular circumstances. It is intended to help you identify some options which may be open to you. It is not for reproduction and may not be used in any other context.