In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of co habitating couples. However, the law has not changed on how it treats cohabiting couples. The law does not in a meaningful way protect the weaker partner typically the women who has children. When married couples divorce both parties have a legal right to maintenance and/or a share of the assets. Cohabiting couples have no such rights regardless of the number of years they have cohabited.

The benefits of a Cohabitation Agreement

A Cohabitation Agreement will set out who owns what and how property, savings and other assets are to be split should a relationship break down.

How to protect yourself

1. Declaration of trust

This is a legal document that confirms the proportions of assets.

For example:

The amount of equity each party has in a property if the relationship should the relationship breakdown.

2. Cohabitation agreement

We can assist you to draw an agreement that details how assets are owned and should be divided; arrangements for children; finances (mortgage and bank accounts) and next of kin.

We will ensure the agreement is correctly drafted and has full legal effect.

3. Make a will

It is also important to make a valid will.

If you were to die without leaving a will, under the rules of intestacy, unmarried cohabitees do not inherit.

Is it legally binding?

If both parties receive independent legal advice and full disclosure has been given, Cohabitation Agreements are usually legally binding.

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