Cohabitation agreements, also known as ‘living together agreements’, provide legal clarity and peace of mind for any couples living together who are not married.
Many people believe that if you live together for a period of time that you become a ‘common law’ husband or wife and that the law will provide you with the same legal rights as if you were married. This (in English law) is not true.
With this in mind, you need to ensure that what you are investing into a relationship is protected.
A cohabitation agreement usually covers the financial aspects of a relationship. It allows both parties to put forward all aspects of their financial arrangements and agree, whilst on good terms, how assets will be split should the relationship fail. The best way to think of this is like an insurance policy – you hopefully will not need it, but you have it to fall back on just in case.
The agreement can include any property owned together or separately, financial split of household bills and expenses, as well as any other assets or investments. It can also include information regarding children, both of this relationship and previous, ensuring that financial support of this nature is clearly addressed and documented.
To be legally enforceable, a cohabitation agreement must be executed as a deed and signed in the presence of witnesses. It must also be considered fair. Both partners should take independent legal advice before committing to an agreement.
If you would like to discuss cohabitation agreements then call GA’s family team on 01752 203500 and one of the team will be happy to guide you through the process. Alternatively, email enquiries@GAsolicitors.com.