If you and your partner are living together on a long term basis and want to ensure your legal position is clear or you are splitting up after having lived together without marrying, we can help. Call or email us to see how our family team can assist you.
More and more couples are choosing to live together without getting married. Some believe that their partners will have no claim on their property or assets if they split up. Meanwhile, others cling to the myth of the ‘common-law’ husband or wife, as if cohabitation were the same as marriage. The truth of the matter is somewhere in between the two.
There are many types of living together arrangements and we are here to advise you on how best to protect your interests. Whether you are going into a new stage of your relationship, or are already a couple living together, we aim to help you to sort things out to avoid or minimise the chance of legal disputes if there are difficulties within your relationship.
If you are considering moving in with your partner or are in a long term relationship, it is advisable to get a cohabitation agreement in place. This is especially the case if you are buying a property together or 1 of you owns but the other is paying towards significant pooled expenses and they may have have rights to the property. If you and your partner have children under the age of 18, the primary carer can make financial claims against the other parent under the terms of the Children Act. However, you cannot make a claim for spousal maintenance or for a share of your partner’s pension if you are a unmarried couple.
We draft and review cohabitation agreements. The basic elements to be covered will generally include :-
financial arrangements - who will pay for what, recording agreed position on equity in any property you own and other matters including joint debts.
how assets will be divided if you split up and a mechanism for resolving any disputes.
A cohabitation agreement is a legally binding contract. You should ensure that you have both taken independent legal advice before signing the agreement. In addition to a cohabitation agreement, where you jointly own property, you should consider a deed of trust and also think about a will.
We also advise clients involved in a dispute after their relationship breaks down. Disputes can involve claims that where 1 party owns the property, the other has a beneficial interest or where both parties jointly own a property, whether it should be sold and on what terms or whether 1 owner can buy the other out.
To find out more about cohabitation and how we can help you, get in touch with one of our family law specialists today.
WE CAN ADVISE YOU ON YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND SUPPORT YOU THROUGH ANY LEGAL ISSUES OR DIFFICULTIES