An unmarried couple who are living together can enter into a cohabitation contract to ensure a clear understanding for both parties, on what will happen if the relationship breaks down.
We would advise all unmarried couples to make an agreement with your partner about your living arrangements incase you separate. This is especially important if you are the sole legal owner of the property you are living in.
A cohabitation contract is a written, signed document that will be signed infront of a witness or solicitor. Generally, it will cover the following:
We will advise you on what is recommended to cover once we have received a clearer picture of your individual circumstances and what you are hoping to achieve.
Many people assume that when you have been living together for a certain period of time, you will have a “common law marriage”. There is no such rule recognised by the law in this country. If you split up from someone you have been living with, it does not mean you will be legally entitled to any financial support or a share of the property.
If you are not married and you are living with a partner, it is a good idea to have a cohabitation agreement in place to protect your interests in the event of a breakup.
We will need the following information to prepare your cohabitation agreement:
There is a general checklist that the courts can consider when deciding whether to uphold a cohabitation contract:
The agreement should be entered into freely and must be kept confidential from members the public.
We will need to discuss with you what you would like to achieve and prepare the agreement for your approval. The other party will need to take independent legal advice on the terms of the agreement before signing the document. If there are any queries raised by the other party’s solicitors, we will explain these to you and negotiate your counterproposals. The agreement will need to be signed by both parties once finalized.
It is vital that the agreement is clearly drafted for the court to consider it, in the event that your relationship breaks down. We will pay careful attention to the requirements when advising you on the information we need from you, and how we can best protect your legal position.